No, the movie was always intended as a CGI film. This wasn't even meant as a reference either. I did it on my own to try and come up with a formula for how the draw the character for storyboards. I always feel if I do a quick pencil test of the character, it helps force me to consolidate my lines into something I can draw rather quickly for animation or storyboarding. Thanks!
oh ok. although, judging by the trailer, it seems to have elements of 2d in the character designs and facial expressions. its great that most movies are doing this like "Hotel Transylvania" and "CWACOM"
Oh yes! She was one of my favorite characters in the film. However due to the script being changed in the production, her character suffered the most in line changes and cuts. It was unfortunate, but that's how it goes I guess.
She didn't turn into anything, it's just that a lot of her good lines (and scenes) were cut to make room for other stuff, which I wasn't too happy about, but I'm just the storyboard artist. Haha! The film is called Saving Santa. It's on Netflix, and you can buy the dvd/bluray copy at Walmart if you're interested.