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Air New Zealand finds magic in hobbit safety video

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) - Perhaps hairy-footed hobbits can teach us all something about safety.

Most regular travelers pay little attention to those snooze-inducing inflight safety videos. But Air New Zealand has found some magic by celebrating the upcoming premiere of the first in the "Hobbit" movie trilogy.

The airline's four-minute safety video featuring the character Gollum and film director Peter Jackson got more than 2 million hits on YouTube within a day of being posted Thursday. The carrier calls itself "the airline of Middle-earth" and cabin staff appear in the clip as film characters.

The hobbits themselves would be proud. After all, author J.R.R. Tolkien created the mythical creatures as risk-averse.

Two of the author's great-grandsons even make cameos. Royd Tolkien appears wearing prosthetic feet.

Big and hairy, of course.

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