If you haven't heard of the 3D modeling freeware called TEDDY, you should definitely check it out. It takes simple line drawings and generates 3D objects. I hear the newest version even has a paint & clothing program included.
This will certainly kill 15-20 minutes of you day, playing with it.
Wheither of not you can actually use it for any serious animation is yet to be seen (as you can only output to .obj files). But, hell it's free and completely easy to use!