A giant 54-metre image of the "Hobbit" dragon is featured on both sides of an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 aircraft. The plane is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Monday, December 2, just in time for the theatrical premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug".
It's the first time ever the giant creature is revealed in its entirety. Peter Jackson only revealed the dragon's eye in the first film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey". Meanwhile, only its threatening voice and fire were featured on the sneak peeks to the second film.
To celebrate the movie's release, Wellington Airport also puts two giant replicas of eagles in the main terminal to welcome visitors. The birds covered with 1000 feathers are suspended from the ceiling. One of the eagles has Gandalf on its back to emphasize the Middle-earth vibes.
The upcoming sequel will see Thorin Oakenshield leading his people to the dragon's lair in the Lonely Mountain to reclaim their homeland. Along the way, they encounter the skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood among other obstacles.
Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to Smaug the Dragon, Richard Armitage plays Thorin, the leader of the Dwarves, and Orlando Bloom returns as Legolas.