McKellen to Ride Magic Roundabout

Daily Variety reports that Sir Ian McKellen, has joined the voice cast of the upcoming CG feature film version of the classic British kids television series, The Magic Roundabout. The star of the Lord of the Rings and X-Men sagas will portray yet another magical character as the voice of Zebedee in Pathe’s adaptation. French studio Action Synthése is handling the animation using Softimage|XSI, according to company president Pascal Rodon.

Other celebrities on board to provide voices include pop stars Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, as well as acclaimed actors Ray Winstone (King Arthur, Sexy Beast) Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The upcoming Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!, Vanity Fair).

Roundabout is just one of several upcoming animated projects for Broadbent, who will voice characters in the upcoming Fox/Blue Sky Studios CG feature, Robots, and the Disney/Vanguard Animation pigeon story, Valiant. He will also play The Professor in Disney’s live-action/CG hybrid version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Ray Winstone will be the voice of Mr. Beaver.

The original Magic Roundabout series was created by Frenchman Serge Danot in the late 1960s, then adapted into English by Eric Thompson. The new movie is slated to spin into U.K. theaters next February.