“The cheek of it made me want to do it,” he says. “They had written this fantastic character. He is a butler that gets turned into a clock. It is based on the Disney animation, although here animation is used for the characters that the prince sees when he is under the spell.”
The prince-cum-beast, played by Dan Stevens, won’t be animated. “He will be a monster, a beast. Basically, I just have had to supply a voice and the animators will do the rest. Then, at the end of the film, the characters all turn back into their real selves and then I sing and dance in a Disney movie.”The second interview is a segment of the June 12th episode of The Empire Film Podcast. McKellen briefly discusses Beauty and the Beast at a few points, beginning at the 51:03 mark (then again at 53:33, 56:12, and finally at 57:35).
Source: Irish Examiner, The Empire Film Podcast