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Airline safety videos are not generally associated with Oscar winning directors, a great sense of humour and an ability to entertain as well as educate, but an hilarious Air New Zealand video has managed to do just that – and it is winning the airline millions of fans in the process.

Air New Zealand has created a uniquely amusing airline safety video based on The Hobbit.

The video, dubbed An Unexpected Briefing, in homage to the full title of the Peter Jackson directed movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, features a number of characters from ‘Middle Earth’, the imaginary land Tolkien created and set The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books in.

Taking their seats onboard a flight to ‘Middle Earth’ alongside a selection of hobbits, orcs and elves are two of the franchises’ most iconic characters, too; Gollum and Gandalf. Both are put to good use here, highlighting the emergency exit lights and the airline’s non-smoking policy respectively.

The video also features cast members from The Hobbit movie, plus an appearance from the Oscar winning director of The Hobbit himself, Peter Jackson. There are also cameos from the great-grandsons of Tolkien.

The video is an internet sensation and has received millions of views on YouTube since launch, making it undoubtedly one of the most popular airline safety videos ever made.

The video was made by Air New Zealand in conjunction with Peter Jackson’s own Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, which are responsible for the visual effects that mesmerized film fans in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

But if there is one thing that The Lord of the Rings franchise has done – and the Hobbit is undoubtedly going to boost too – is the appeal of New Zealand to tourism. The amazing scenery on display in ‘Middle Earth’ is something few people cannot be interested in seeing.

New Zealand does have it all; great scenery, great people and something worth seeing around every corner.


The best way to explore the country – which is about the same size as England, Scotland and Wales combined, but with the population of Wales – is via hire car. You can hire cars cheaply and affordably from many locations in New Zealand, including at major airports in cities like Auckland and Wellington.


But you might want to think about purchasing car hire excess insurance in advance of arrival in New Zealand – excess costs charged by rental car companies can be extremely expensive  when purchased the same time as your car hire and they tend to cover you for far less than if you purchased the excess insurance in advance. So to save money, book in advance – that way you’ll have more money to spend on Hobbit themed day trips and sights.





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4 thoughts on “Air New Zealand video spoofs The Hobbit

  1. I seen this on the flight over from Australia. Even the airport in Wellington is decked out in Middle Earth attire and the whole country really embraces (and sells) the Lord of The Rings.. Most of it is filmed here on the South Island!

  2. You gotta love Air NZ’s safety videos. Bummer I flew just before they set this one live. I had a rather boring cartoon one starring Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy). You should definitely watch the one with the bodypaint!

  3. They – Air New Zealand – are known for this Johnny. They had a series of in-flight safety videos around the time of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which they hosted, which featured prominent All Blacks playing the staring roles (pilot, passengers, crew etc.). Hilarious stuff. Check out YouTube. Kiwis & their sense of humor!

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