More free hig-res Muybridge scans to help students (and everybody else that's interested in studying the real deal). Click to see them real big.
Just to give the "other side" a fair shake, here are two great quotes that temper everything I've been saying about originality. (Both are paraphrased as best as I can remember them):
A cliche is a cliche because it works - George Lucas
Originality often leads to obscurity - Vance Gerry
Which brings up a good point. One of the hardest parts of being a student (for me) was the constant stream of advice from every quarter. Everybody would look at my character designs, or layouts, or animation scenes and everybody had a different thought about how each could be improved. After listening to everybody for a while I felt like my head was going to explode. I was trying to take all of that advice and implement all of it because it was coming from teachers and fellow students that I admired. But I could never take all of it because what one person said would totally contradict what another said.
It's worth remembering that a big part of being a student is that it's normal to feel like your brain is a shot glass and the world is suddenly trying to pour a gallon of information into it. It's going to be an overwhelming experience no matter what so just do your best to remember what you can and write down what doesn't make sense so you can puzzle it out later. Remember that it's up to you to accept what advice makes sense to you and disregard what doesn't feel right to you.
And take comfort in the fact that you never really learn anything until you figure it out for yourself. People can tell you something every day for ten years but it will never really mean anything to you until you make just the right amount of mistakes and suddenly you think "Hey, I get it now!". All of a sudden that thing everybody's been saying makes sense.
There are many versions all over the web of Ollie Johnston's notes that were collected over the years (there's a pdf version here). Just type "Ollie Johnston notes" into Yahoo or Google and you'll find them all over the place.
If there's one piece of advice on the list that's worth a million bucks it's this one:
Concentrate on drawing clearly, not cleanly.
If I had a nickel for every time I've told myself that, I'd be a billionaire. If I could get myself to really learn it I would be happier than any billionaire, that's for sure.