Awaken on creatures that are not animals or trees

The party druid wants to cast Awaken on a magical beast friend it made. Because magical beasts are not animals or trees, I said no, but it got me thinking… is it possible?

Suppose the druid made a bunch of potions of Aspect of the Wolf (CL 14). That spell specifically changes the target’s type to Animal. Each potion would last 140 minutes per use. Awaken is a 24 hour casting. So, if the hippogriff must be an animal throughout the casting, that is at least 11 potions.

Questions:

  1. By RAW, would this work?
  2. Would the hippogriff need to be an animal throughout the entire casting? Or only for the last 140 minutes when the spell is finally cast?
  3. Does this seem overly complex? Might there be an easier way? A hippogriff is very close to an animal. It even has animal intelligence. But, I want to be careful about allowing this. The last thing I want is for them to hunt down a tarrasque, feed it some potions, spend 250 XP, and have an intelligent colossal killing machine as a friend.