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Luke Skywalker and Rove McManus onboard Exchange Student Zero

Luke Skywalker and Rove McManus onboard Exchange Student Zero

Mark Hamill and Australian TV personality Rove McManus will provide the voices of some of the characters in an upcoming Oz-produced Cartoon Network movie. “Exchange Student Zero”, also featuring the voices of “Kath & Kim” favourites Peter Roswthorn and Marg Downey, tells of two school friends obsessed with a fantasy card game called Battle Day Zero who inadvertently bring one of the characters, Hiro, to life. Despite being an anime character in a normal toon world, Hiro is passed off for an exchange student and so his peculiarities are, in the main, overlooked while our heroes try to work out how to get him home. That is until the game that brought him pours even more exotic creatures into the sleepy little town. Life will never be the same, but then as our leads discover, it is far more exciting this way. The special will air in December.

Details follow :

Cartoon Network’s first ever Australia-made TV movie, Exchange Student Zero, will premiere on Sunday, December 16 at 6.00pm featuring the voice talents of comedian Rove McManus and Mark Hamill, best known for his role in Star Wars as Luke Skywalker.

Versatile Rove voices five leading characters in the animated special including best friends John and Max, as well as anime star Hiro – The Prince of Karuta.

“Being part of an animation project like this is pure joy for me. Not only because I am such a fan of the art form but also there is no greater pleasure than jumping up and down like an idiot and making silly voices for a day. It’s funny how the stuff that used to get me in trouble at school can now get me a job on a really cool show,” Rove said.

The 70-minute, animated television special follows the adventures of two school friends, John and Max, obsessed with a fantasy card game called Battle Day Zero who inadvertently bring one of the characters, Hiro, to life. Hiro is passed off for an exchange student at school and so his peculiarities are somewhat overlooked while John and Max figure out how to get him home. That is until the game that brought Hiro pours even more exotic creatures into the sleepy little Perth town. Life will never be the same, but then as John and Max discover, it is far more exciting this way.

Prior to the on-air premiere, Australian kids will be able to play an online game version of Battle Day Zero, the fantasy card game on which the show is based. The game will be available to play for free at www.Cartoonnetwork.com.au. The game was written and designed by Bogan Entertainment, and has been produced by Indigo Games.

Bruce Kane, Producer, Exchange Student Zero says the idea for Exchange Student Zero originally came from being utterly confused playing fantasy card games with his kids. “It led to us wondering what it would be like, and whether it would make more sense, if these characters came to life and explained what is going on. I think it does, though I wouldn’t wish the consequences on anyone other than the people of Perth…which is where the film is set.”

Exchange Student Zero is a product of Cartoon Network’s SNAPTOONS (Short New Asia Pacific Cartoons) initiative, a drive to tap the incredible talent of existing and emerging creative animators and animation studios across the Asia Pacific region.

Robi Stanton, Vice President and General Manager, Australia and New Zealand, Turner International said, “It is an exciting step for Cartoon Network to be premiering our first locally produced animated TV special. It is great to be involved with the amazingly talented Australian animation industry and we love that a local creative submission was a winning finalist in the first ever SNAPTOONS initiative.”

Exchange Student Zero premieres on Cartoon Network on 16th December 2012 at 6.00pm – only on Foxtel.

Battle Day Zero will be available to play on Cartoon Network’s website from 15th November 2012 – www.cartoonnetwork.com.au

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