So, this article mentions this:
"We looked at movies like 'Big' and 'Being There,'" the Favreau says.
"(Those were) movies with similar concepts that were played very real
and very emotional -- and they were good movies, not just funny
To that end, the director (who is most famous for writing and starring
in "Swingers") tried to give the movie an old-fashioned sensibility,
hoping to capture the spirit of Christmas classics past, in part by
using in-camera techniques instead of special effects to make
Ferrell's co-stars like Bob Newhart seem elfin in size and also by
paying tongue-in-cheek homage to perennial holiday favorites like
"Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" with his own
But that isn't really a quote, per se. However, in this interview we find
"...so my pitch was to do it for a price instead of making it this big
CGI extravaganza we would sort of use the old fashion methods, make
the sets small, make it feel like a nostalgic, old Christmas movie,
make it feel like an old Christmas special, actually. Like the Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Rankin/Bass one. That was part of it. We
justified it creatively by making the world that Buddy (Will Ferrell)
came from was sort of this '60s TV special Christmas world."
I think it's safe to say that Favreau was trying to capture that nostalgic feel.