Ian McKellen has joinedKylie Minogue and Robbie Williams in voicing Pathe's $20m CGI animated feature The Magic Roundabout.

Having played the wizardGandalf in The Lord Of The Rings, theOscar-nominated actor will be playing a less stereotypical wizard in thefeature version of the kids' TV show.His character is Zebedee, a moustachioed jack-in-a-box wizard who is theself-appointed guardian of the magic garden inhabited by the other characters.McKellen replaces Richard O'Brian who was previously named in the role.

The film is based on theclassic TV series of the same name, created in the 60s by Serge Danot. Alsovoicing characters are Tom Baker, Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley, Bill Nighy andRay Winstone.

The Magic Roundabout is due for UK release inFebruary 2005.