The Three Brothers
Jeff Sengali mentioned this short during the game project. What I love about this style is the clarity of its values and shapes and the neutral black, brown, and warm yellow-y palette that reminds me of old films. Also there are some very cool, very clear images that aren't explicitly what is exactly happening but still clearly tell the story. I also like the illuminated and paper-y texture to it. I like the idea of giving our animation a feeling of traditional materials (whether it be charcoal, like Gil suggested) or perhaps ink or watercolor, and keeping the palette simple.
By contrast, although this cartoon is a lot sillier than what we are looking for, I like the energy of it and how playful they are with animation of certain events (like now the train is rushing so fast it flies off the tracks several times). I also like the attitudes of the people on board.
PS: I have sketches which I will post soon.