A nationwide competition to find the voices for the lead characters of a new animated series has today announced the six winners who will narrate “Clean Our Planet: Energy of Change”.
The winners are Harry Walton, 10, from Ashford in Kent; Kyas Ako- parker, 11 from Liverpool; Ese Abhulimhen , 13 from Sidcup; Theia Pearce, 5, from Essex; Stephanie Gallagher, 12, from Hemel Hempstead and Halima Omari-Hakim from East London.
The environmentally minded winners from around the country were selected after a six-month process that searched across 40,000 families. Run by Clean Planet Energy and partnered by the UK’s leading child talent agency Scallywags, participants were asked to create a short video about how they are helping protect the planet.
“We asked 40,000 families to show us how they were taking steps to make incremental changes to their life that would ultimately help protect the environment around us. Our winners presented us the most extraordinary & brilliant presentations. From videos taking us on a tour around their local community to show how they were helping, national activism, eco-art, and using non-recycle plastic as building materials for everyday items, our winners had it all”, said Bertie Stephens, CEO of Clean Planet Energy.
“The purpose of the new animated series is to help both inform and engage people of all ages as to how our lifestyles impacts upon nature. We must take a step back and realise that the current balance between nature and society is untenable, but importantly we must have the courage to make incremental changes so that we can live the life we want, but in harmony with the nature around us”, continued Stephens.
At just 10 years of age, Harry Walkton from Ashford in Kent has already been working on solutions to the problem for a number of years, “I learned how to make ecoBricks about two years ago when we found a local shop who were collecting them. Our family has been making ecoBricks ever since to try and keep plastic from entering our landfills and oceans. I have also watched several documentaries and learned more about the issue”, said Harry.
13 year old from Sidcup, Ese Abhulimhen’s passion for making a difference began when she was just eight , “During primary school when I was in Year 4 we went on a school trip which involved us going to the park. During the trip I saw a bird chewing on plastic and how much plastic and litter there was on the floor. From then on I have started to pick up as much litter and plastic as I can to help stop plastic pollution.”
Kyas Ako-Parker, 11, from Liverpool, also decided to make changes when he saw the devastation on nature pollution was having, “I first found out about pollution in the news. It was very upsetting to see lots of animals getting hurt because of our own selfish human deeds. The world definitely needs to change humans are not the only ones living on this beautiful planet.”
The youngest winner, Theia Pearce, aged 5, believes the animation can make all the difference to those around her, but also sees the funny side of her voice being on a nationwide production, “I am excited that I will help people stop hurting the animals, I love the animals and they help us too. I think it’s going to be funny hearing my voice on a cartoon, I hope I’m good enough!” … “She absolutely will be!” quickly responded Stephens.
The animation is slated to deliver a narrative that will take the audience through the ages, on an arc of discovery. Mixing key messages with entertainment is difficult, but the six winners were picked as they have an edge to make people of all ages sit up and listen. “If we’re going change the world, achieve the seemingly impossible, we’ll have to achieve it with those whose future it impacts most, for people and businesses alike we’re entering an era of the Clean Planet Economy”, Stephens concluded.
Upon finding out about her win, Stephanie Gallagher, 12, believes the animation can continue to raise the consciousness of the problems we face as a society, “I'm ever so excited to try and help the planet any way I can. I think this project can really elevate the awareness of climate change and plastic pollution. I think some children (and adults!) don't know enough about the consequences, so I'd love if people knew more about it to help and clean our planet. “
The final winner, Halima Omari-Hakim, 8, from East London is excited to share the important messages with the wider world, “Wow! I feel so excited to be involved in this new cartoon, and to be able to help and share so that more of us can do more to save our planet. I can show my friends and family the animated series and they can share it with others so that lots of people see and learn and help. I feel proud that I can be a helper to mother earth. It's so exciting."
The animated series will go into voice-over production this Summer with an initial release date scheduled for Q4 this year. The primary target audience will be school-children but like all good animations the purpose is to bring-together the entire family.
From the initial entries that reached 40,000 families, 15 finalists were shortlisted by a team of 5 judges. All finalists will receive a certificate, and the winners, in addition to winning the voice-over prize, have also been awarded a cash prize of £125; the family also receives a set of Clean Planet t-shirts.