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Air New Zealand Travels to Middle-earth With In-Flight Safety Video

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Yes, yes, my precious! Air New Zealand and WETA Workshop soar with this Hobbit tie-in—a real in-flight safety video. Characters from J.R.R. Tolkien demonstrate what to do in the case of an emergency and put a fanciful Middle-earth spin on donning oxygen masks, inflating life vests and pointing the way to the exits. This reminds me a bit of Virgin America's recent flight of fantasy, but it's less cluttered and more engaging. Here, the plane's filled by a pointy-eared lot, some with protruding fangs, leathery skin and razor claws, but they're still less freakish than former Air NZ pitchman Richard Simmons. And I'll take hobbits in the cabin over gremlins on the wing any day. Peter Jackson, who directed the upcoming movie, makes a cameo, sans makeup, at the 1:40 mark—though with his broad build, unkempt mane and creeping facial hair, he fits right in.

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