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Flying long distances with children isn't exactly the easiest thing, and parents often struggle to figure out how to entertain a child for many, many hours of sitting in a seat. Add to this the fact that the child may be a little scared of flying, with no idea of what to expect, and you have a stressful situation.
KLM understands, and has actually made an effort to help by introducing a new animated film, aimed at the littlest flyers, to both entertain and educate. The star: "Bluey," an excitable and adorable 747 plane who uses his jet speed and compassion to help a friend. Apparently the character has existed since November, with branded kids products, "ranging from keycords, trolleys and card games, to a fun Bluey meal box for children on international flights."
Although Bluey is designed to entertain children on planes, we enjoyed watching his first animated short ourselves and would watch an entire series of such cartoon adventures featuring Bluey. Catch him on KLM's YouTube (embedded below) and, from June, on KLM's intercontinental flights as part of the in-flight entertainment.
In 2011, a small Spanish town, Júzcar, blue itself, quite like Tobias in Arrested Development. The whitewashed buildings, including churches and gravestones, formerly of the White Towns of Andalusia, opted for a makeover by Sony Pictures to celebrate the premiere of the The Smurfs movie.
Why the cozy town of Júzcar? Oddly enough, the Spanish village maintains an interesting relationship with the fungi, something smurfs are known to crave.
The mycological roots in Júzcar bloom in autumn, at which point the town toasts to the delicious fungi sprouting throughout the city. Better yet, the townspeople embraced the blue better than anticipated, voting—141 to 33—to keep the blue exterior even after the film’s premiere.
Today, Júzcar continues to attract hoards of tourists, over 400,000 since the makeover, which is an insane number for a town of under 300 people. That’s over 100,000 tourists per villager. But now, the city will receive a $56 million donation to dive further into Smurfdom and build an official Smurf theme park.
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OMG OMG OMG. We have good news and great news, both related to Hello Kitty and a certain airline fond of covering their planes in the illustrated character.
First, the good news:
Taipei-based EVA Air will soon add another Hello Kitty aircraft to their fleet, bringing the total to 7 airplanes covered in Sanrio cuteness. The theme hasn't yet been leaked, but the planethe second Boeing 777-300ER to sport a Hello Kitty livery (the other five are Airbus A330s)will be delivered in May 2015. Inside will be 333 seats: 39 business class, 56 premium economy, 238 economy.
Now, the great news:
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Stop the presses for important breaking news. Hello Kitty is collaborating with yet another Asian airline and, for the first time, the partnership is all about featuring the cartoon girl-cat in her signature colors of pink, purple and white.
The “Revoltech Hello Kitty Peach" figurine costs 2,300 JPY ($21.65 USD) plus tax and may be found on sale at Peach's online shop, within Peach's own airside brick-and-mortar store at Osaka-Kansai Airport Terminal 2, and in select toy shop locations (see Facebook).
Peach wants you to play with this toy, instead of just look at it on a shelf. It even includes accessories:
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If we’ve learned one thing about the world in the last few years, it is that Hello Kitty is only gaining in ubiquity. From airport shops and her own Los Angeles convention to kitty-print toilet paper and every accessory under the sun, the cartoon cat missing a mouth has steamrolled beyond Barbie, the X-Men, and more in her quest for world domination.
Since 2005, that success has included airplanes, with Taiwanese carrier EVA Airways debuting Airbus A330s (and, last year, an extra special Boeing 777-300ER) covered tip to tail in Hello Kitty imagery. When we say tip to tail, we mean even the interior; the Hello Kitty flights, of which there are 6 regular routes originating in Taipei (Los Angeles, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hokkaido), please passengers with Hello Kitty-theme in-flight shopping, in-flight entertainment, and in-flight meals.
While we know commercial airline pilots are real people with thoughts and feelings (usually), we passengers rarely get even the slightest glimpse into the other side of the flight deck door.
Commercial airline pilot of 28 years, Chris Manno, has flipped this with the release of Flight Crew. . .like you, a collection of illustrations showcasing the behind-the-scenes view of a career pilot.
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Hello Kitty is turning 40 this year and Sanrio is inviting all of her fans to help her celebrate this fall.
Hello Kitty Con 2014 will celebrate all things Hello Kitty with exclusive merchandise, pop-up shops, panels and discussions, art installations, photo opps, costumes, workshops, tattoos, and other activities for fans of every age.
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It's a 'Hello Kitty' world now.
As Taiwan's EVA Air continues to promote their fleet of six Hello Kitty jets (5 A330s, 1 777) and Japan Airlines gets in on the action with one Kitty-fied 777, ANA is slowly saying fond farewells to their once robust fleet of Pokémon planes.
The idea to paint up an aircraft in Pikachu and other characters goes all the way back to 1992, with a contest ANA hosted to welcome children's drawings as design concepts. No plane was painted with Pokémon until 1998, however; the first was a 747 on domestic routes, which flew for 17 years before heading into retirement.
Why is Miss Piggy greeting travelers on Lufthansa flights? Well, she's a 'VIP' (Very Important Pig) with an updated safety video that will even get the kids' attention.
It's all to celebrate the May 1st premiere in German theaters of Disney's newest Muppets movie: "Muppets Most Wanted." Rest assured, however, that Miss Piggy isn't the end-all, be-all of safety instruction on your next Lufthansa flight; she's simply an entertaining segment and a little whistle-whetter as Lufthansa flights have also added the first "The Muppets" movie to the list of available feature films on the in-flight entertainment systems.
If you're German and reading this, then you might want to check out the contest for roundtrip flights from Germany to LA for four people, plus hotel, rental car, and a tour of Walt Disney Studios.
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"This Hello Kitty jet is for everyone. On it, every day is a happy day. We are spreading a message of happiness." - EVA Air's Chairman (and Captain) K.W. Chang
In 2005, EVA Air painted Hello Kitty on the side of a plane. Then they did it again in 2006. The two planes turned frowns upside-down for a few years, but went away in 2008. Then, in 2011, we showed you the return of the Hello Kitty planes, though these newest versions only flitted around Asia at the time. Now, the US finally gets in on the kawaii action as the airline debuts their first Hello Kitty Boeing 777 and a first trans-Pacific route for the cute Sanrio character: Taipei to Los Angeles.
"Other airlines only do the exterior job [of theming a plane], but we've done it all," says Chang. "We want everyone to share our world," before connecting to other Star Alliance flights and returning to their world. You've already read the 11 coolest facts about these airplanes, but see exactly what Chang is talking about in our 77 original photos of outside, inside, and all around the new 777:
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It's not every day you see dancing on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport, but when that dancing is to celebrate the arrival of a Hello Kitty-themed airplane, it's completely warranted.
Slipping into a gate alongside the tails of 787s, 747-8s and A380s yesterday was EVA Air's brand new Boeing 777-300ER, its body painted all over with the cheery cartoons of Sanrio's Hello Kitty and friends.
Over 70 Hello Kitty enthusiasts were on the inaugural flight, joined by a troupe of Hello Kitty dancers, characters, artists and Hello Kitty's creator herself, Yuko Yamaguchi. The arrival marks the beginning of regular, nonstop flights between LAX and Taipei-Taoyuan for this aircraft, which is arguably the most kawaii addition to aviation since Pokémon showed up on some 747s. Even as Alaska Airlines' Mickey Mouse plane passed by, all eyes remained on EVA's Kitty.
Before booking a flight, however, there's some things you should know about EVA Air's Hello Kitty 777:
It's Monday, which means a distraction is definitely in order. Luckily we've got the perfect little one minute comic to share: click to view.
Matthew Inman is the cartoonist behind the brilliant web series "The Oatmeal". He's the sort of dual artist-comedian who expertly illustrates those weird thoughts everyone thinks, but never say.
Over the weekend, while onboard a flight, he had a tiny revelation which led to an on-the-fly comic he drew, uploaded and posted to Twitter all thanks to the magic of in-flight wifi.