Here's a sequence from one of my favorite Lantz cartoons: Solid Ivory.
It shows a perfect combination of good direction and animation happening at the same time. You don't always find these two skills in the same film. When they are working together its cartoon magic.
The director (Dick Lundy) did the overall timing and cutting. It looks like it's mostly on a 10x beat - a "march beat". Same beat I used for the "Happy Happy Joy Joy" song. 10x beats evoke a feeling of nervous energy. Don't ask me why.
Within that beat, it has a good variety of contrasts in the timing. Some things happen fast, and other things are slower or more evenly timed. It all adds up to visual melody.
The animation is very cartoony and elastic. It's full of principles but they are all subservient to the gags. You're not thinking to yourself "My, what wonderful squash and stretch", or "How beautiful is that overlapping action?" as you might in "Lady and The Tramp" or "Cats Don't Dance" where you can admire the motion on a technical level, but it all seems just too conscious of following all the animation rules and tricks for their own sake.
These Lantz cartoons are aimed mainly at kids (or grown up cartoon freaks like me). They aren't as funny, witty or layered as WB cartoons were, but that's fine. It gives the kids and purists what they want - crazy but controlled action and gags, slapstick, violence and loads of life. LIFE! - which seems to be missing from cartoons today. Modern cartoons don't seem to be "alive" anymore no matter how much money is spent on them. They look "manufactured" instead. Like committees of zombies get together and read all the rules to each other then put the cartoon together with tape one rule at a time.
Woody doesn't have a boatload of personality, but he has a huge reservoir of motivation and energy - like most kids - before the world of serious dull adults wears it out of them.
This is pure fun for fun sake - made with love, instinct and lots of superhuman skill.
Even the camera moves had life in the old cartoons! They are organic (as if the viewer is actually following the action with his human head and eyeballs) - unlike today's inhuman mathematical camera moves calculated on dead uncaring computers. Look at the great camera shakes in the scenes where Woody slams into the wooden shack.
I'm going to put up shorter clips from this to illustrate some of the principles and concepts I've talked about in previous posts.
Wanna know the best way to learn animation? Study frame by frame the animation in classic 30s and 40s cartoons. Like these Woody Woodpeckers:
Or any of the cartoons I organized for you here:
CLASSIC CARTOON SHORTS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE
GET YER BASICS WITH RUBBER HOSE CARTOONS
DISNEY CLASSIC FEATURES