New Zealand is a simple land of simple people, where every year, the Prime Minister is chosen via sack race at Toby Goodwin’s annual hayride party, whose important decrees will set the price of garden gnomes for the following year (the country’s number one export). In addition to gnomes and sack racing and singing commercial jingles from their one television station, Kiwis are especially proud of their Hobbits, the films shot on location by native son Peter Jackson. You may remember Air New Zealand’s first Hobbit-themed safety video, from 2012, in which they re-branded as “Air Middle Earth.” Well now they’re back with a new one, and I can say with a great deal of certainty that it’s the most exciting thing to happen there since.
“Wilcome to Muddle Irth, my frind,” intones an Elvishly-dressed antipodean ambassador in what the title cards promise will be “the most epic safety video ever made.” Because in New Zealand, an Elijah Wood cameo counts as the most exciting thing that has ever happened. And at 13 hours, your direct flight from the West Coast to Auckland will give you just enough time to watch all of The Hobbit movies right up until the point Smaug shows up just as the wheels hit the tarmac. Does Peter Jackson make a cameo? Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.
Of course, I only kid my New Zealand friends, because they’re the nicest, dorkiest people on Earth. Australia’s Canada, if you will. Only instead of America’s hat, New Zealand is Australia’s tampon. Of course, the tampon has fallen out, because Australians are drunk and filthy.