A dragon flew from Auckland to Los Angeles last night. As we gear up for the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Air New Zealand is once again embracing its national ties to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchise by emblazoning one of its commercial aircraft with a likeness of Smaug himself.
Smaug is "the greedy, strong and wicked worm" (as SuperHeroHype puts it) referenced in the title of the movie being promoted. His appearance on a Boeing 777-300ER is the first glimpse we've seen of the creature ahead of the Dec. 13 release in the US.
The Desolation of Smaug is the second of three films in the Hobbit series. In this film, Bilbo and Gandalf continue their adventure and battle the dragon in question. The movie's tagline via IMDB:
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.
New Zealand is famous (among other reasons) for having been the filming location of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film legacy. Air New Zealand also helped cross-promote the first Hobbit film when it released a Hobbit-themed flight briefing for its passengers. Check out the fun: