Air New Zealand’s latest ‘Hobbit’ safety video a hit

Posted at 11:29 AM, Oct 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-23 11:29:01-04

(CNN) — Here’s an airline safety video passengers might actually watch.

Air New Zealand has published another in its recent series of “Hobbit”-themed videos, complete with cameos by director Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood, star of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The slick, 4-minute clip, cheekily titled “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” features costumed figures from the “Hobbit” movies cavorting in a mountainous Middle-earth like setting while urging passengers to buckle seat belts, use oxygen masks and so on.

Shot in New Zealand, the video also is a not-so-subtle plug for the third and final film in Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy — “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” set for worldwide release in December.

It’s also latest example of a creative push by airlines to make in-flight safety videos more entertaining so that passengers won’t ignore them. Delta, for example, released a playful, ’80s-themed video in January, its fourth new safety video in two years.

Air New Zealand’s first “Hobbit”-themed video two years ago earned almost 12 million views on YouTube.