Well, it seems like I'm on top of it today. Two hours ago, Simon Tofield uploaded his latest film. Since I saw my Grandma's new kitten playing with one of her older cats (Sammy the Scottish fold) this past weekend, Simon's film is pretty timely.
Something worth studying in this film is the difference in how the characters are animated--differences between the larger, older cat and the smaller, younger cat. Slight variations in weight and timing can state the difference between two similar character designs far more than visual differences in their appearance.
This is one of the mistakes that I made in my R.I.T. Thesis film "Zero". In my film, all the characters looked identical, however, all the protagonists and antagonists moved with the same weight and timing. While it worked okay for background characters, there wasn't enough difference in the motion of the lead characters. In the end, while my story was good, my inexperience showed through in the character animation and muddled the final result.
Just like what Shamus Culhane did while animating the seven dwarves in Snow White, Mr. Tofield has provided us with a great example of how you can make characters (who have similar design features) stand out from each other by using motion to illustrate the differences in their personalities rather than rely upon physical characteristics alone.