Canadians watching Disney's upcoming animated movie Zootopia might find a certain news anchor character's smooth baritone somewhat familiar.
Peter Moosebridge, a moose and co-anchor of the film's ZTV News, is being voiced by Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent of CBC News and longtime anchor of The National, the public broadcaster's flagship evening TV newscast.
Comedy-adventure tale Zootopia revolves around a modern metropolis filled with a variety of animals and features the voice talents of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk and Tommy Chong.
The Moosebridge character "was specifically written with Canada in mind and to be voiced by a Canadian," a first for a Disney animated film, according to a statement from the studio.
"[We] couldn't be more thrilled that, in the ultimate casting coup, we were able to convince the preeminent voice in Canadian news to accept this assignment," said Greg Mason, vice-president of marketing for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada.
"Not surprisingly, Peter was a natural and we think audiences will delight in seeing Canada represented in Peter Moosebridge."
Mansbridge, who will also appear in CBC-TV's upcoming Murdoch Mysteries holiday special, noted that he is a long-time fan of TV's The Wonderful World of Disney and of the studio's animated movies.
"I was immediately intrigued when I received the proposal for this cameo role, of a newscaster no less. These films were part of my childhood and now I see my kids and grandkids watching them," he said.
Zootopia is slated to open in Canadian theatres on March 4, 2016.