There was a time when you were most likely riveted to the safety presentation given by flight attendants before take-off. But after your fifth flight or so you were probably already sleeping or kept your eyes on your reading material, feeling that you knew everything there was to know about airplane emergency information.
In an effort to get its travelers paying attention again, Air New Zealand has released “An Unexpected Briefing.” Instead of the usual pre-recorded safety clip one might try to tune out, eyes might just leave books and magazines to look up at hobbits and other mythical characters traveling on a flight in Middle Earth.
Made in partnership with WETA Workshop, the new “Hobbit-inspired Safety Video” shows all the usual precautionary messages, except the flight attendant is an elf, hobbits, dwarfs and orcs are the passengers, and a wizard the pilot.
“Welcome aboard this Air Middle Earth flight,” the female elf stewardess says. “Before we set out on our journey, I would like to impart this story of safety. Even if you fly with us often, be sure to keep a sharp eye on the briefing.”
The clip within a day of its posting has more than 800,000 views on YouTube. Check it out for yourself:
The theme for this safety video was chosen as the new feature film based on JRR Tolkien’s classic tale — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — makes its world premier later this month and on Dec. 14 in the United States.
As Wired pointed out, this isn’t the first move Air New Zealand has made to catch its passengers’ attention during air safety presentations. In previous stints, it has showed only the “bare essentials” of flight attendances (they were “wearing” only body paint) and has included guest cameos by celebrities like Richard Simmons.