I thought I'd follow on from my presentation to year 1, and show some stuff that reinforces the point on being open to influence.
Animator Lotte Reiniger (1899-1991) has had a huge influence on my work as an artist and an animator. Her technique is interesting in itself - she was one of the pioneers of stop-motion animation, and she almost exclusively worked alone to create an entire film.
Sadly her achievements are overlooked: "Lotte Reiniger, when mentioned at all, is most often brushed off in a single sentence noting that she apparently made a feature-length silhouette film in 1926, The Adventures of Prince Achmed; but since that was in Germany, and silhouettes aren't cartoons, Disney still invented the feature-length animated film with Snow White. Anyone who has seen Prince Achmed wouldn't be convinced by this reasoning, but, alas, only a tiny fraction of the people who see Snow White ever get to see any Reiniger film at all. Few of her nearly 70 films are readily available--and almost none of them in excellent prints; when Reiniger fled Germany to England in the 1930s, she was not able to bring her original negatives with her, so most modern prints are copies of copies, which have lost much of the fine detail, especially in backgrounds." http://www.awn.com/mag/issue1.3/articles/moritz1.3.html
This is a short clip from Prince Achmed. There are plenty more on you-tube, and although the quality of the film is not great I hope you will be able to see through that to the quality of the work itself.