KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the latest entrant in the battle to come up with the least boring in-flight safety video. The novel concept: Create an animated version of the pre-flight safety admonition by hand-painting Delft Blue tiles—because they're Dutch, so points for authenticity—and then using those tiles as a ceramic form of hand-painted cel, shooting one after another to animate the instructions.
It took more than 1,000 tiles (I want one!) to finish the roughly 2 1/2 minutes of animation, and just to make sure you don't think that this was all computer-generated trickery, the video ends with the narrator standing in a field of them. There's also a jaunty little making-of video at KLM's site showing artists hand-painting, baking, and photographing the tiles.
Making this video was even more painstaking than watching Air New Zealand's Richard Simmons-hosted one.
I especially liked the part when the doodle of a passenger fumbles his doodle of a smartphone and requires the doodle of the flight attendant to help him fish it out from between the seats. I don't remember that being a part of most safety videos. Is this a thing now? Are people losing their phones between seats and accidentally crushing them when they recline?
Some complain these videos are obfuscating their true purpose, which is to advise passengers of safety procedures. But I love them. Watching these new safety videos in their natural habitat is a bit like collecting baseball cards for travelers. (Here's a brief history of the gimmicky safety video, if you also love them.) I say: Whatever works to get people to pay attention.
The new video goes onto intercontinental flights starting November 1.