For years now, Air New Zealand has been treating passengers (and the world) to the most creative and entertaining air safety videos ever made. It's a welcome trend that isn't without copycats (check out Virgin Airlines catchy "Safety Dance"), but Air NZ continues to be the most prolific, with annual refreshes of its videos, which have included Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg, survivalist Bear Grylls, and even fitness guru Richard Simmons.

Naturally, with Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy dominating theaters the last few years, the airline has taken to incorporating all-things Middle Earth. The latest, titled "The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made," truly raises the bar with cameos by Elijah Wood, director Peter Jackson, and Sylvester McCoy and plenty of orcs, giant eagles, and epic battle scenes to leave you smiling. Shot over six days, the four-minute video features a variety of locations around New Zealand, from Hobbiton on the North Island to Central Otago on the South. 

Orc with an oxygen mask for flight safety video

"Air New Zealand has created yet another fantastic video to celebrate 'The Hobbit' films," commented director Peter Jackson. "This latest offering combines members of our cast and our locations with Air New Zealand's unique personality. I had a lot of fun on the set with Taika and the team and look forward to seeing the video on board."

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Air 'Hobbit': One flight safety video to rule them all
From cameos by Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood to giant eagles and orcs, Air New Zealand's flight safety video soars.