On December 14, the first installment of a movie trilogy based of J.R.R. fantasy novels hits theaters stateside. Unlike the blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy, this will break up one book, The Hobbit, over three movies. Take into account that The Hobbit is far shorter than any of LOTR books, and we can expect a movie where Bilbo Baggins sits around, is visited by a bunch of dwarves and a wizard, gets sloppy drunk, and decides to go on an adventure with them all during a three-hour run-time. Yes, it will be something.
Similar to the LOTR trilogy, The Hobbit is being shot almost entirely in New Zealand. Now, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but when you account for tourism dollars, the LOTR trilogy basically single-handedly boosted New Zealand’s entire economy. It is because nerds will do anything to live out their silly fantasies, and, yes, maybe New Zealand is kind of a pretty looking place. In any case, New Zealanders (or “Kiwis” as your annoying coworker calls them) see the new trilogy as another influx of tourism dollars for their scenic island nation. Therefore, Air New Zeland is has painted one of its jumbo jets with all the characters your weird friend will soon fall in love with and blow their life-savings trying to get a seat on.
This painstakingly painted cash-cows follows a spot from Air New Zealand where flyers are briefed by hobbits under a similarly whimsically flute-heavy soundtrack. Peter Jackson, director and producer of both trilogies says of the plane, “It’s wonderful to see such a stunning image to celebrate The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on one of Air New Zealand’s largest international aircraft. It’s a unique representation of the innovation and creativity of New Zealanders and a great opportunity to show off the incomparably beautiful landscape of this country.” But then, of course he would say that.