Look at the great painting technique in these old cereal box displays.
The drawings even have a lot of style and character.
Compare these artist made paintings to the style they paint characters in today:
It seems like there is only one style of character painting now, the boring not fun style. You just take an airbrush, and paint a rim light in a lighter color of your main primary color, and then airbrush a darker version of the same primary color inside that. Paint all shadows and highlights in parallel fuzzies all around every character and object.
Now you can do it in Photoshop, so we don't even need artists anymore! I think it's the plan of every corporation to completely rid the world of pesky artists. When they get computers to do a cheesy approximation of every aspect of cartooning that is still done by artists, that'll be the end of us.
What I can't figure out is why they don't write a program to write cartoons. That oughta be easy as shit! Program in the 7 stock plots. Add in which characters you are going to use and what their catch phrases are, and then print out the scripts. You could churn out hundreds of scripts a day. The scriptwriters all place a great value on how fast they can whip the stuff out. I bet a computer could beat them! And computers don't smell as bad.
Here are some other cool painting styles from prehistory.