I have found the mornings exercises of copying Donald duck very helpful when it came time to animate. I think having the proportions drilled into my brain through repetition has helped the animation process because it is not at the forefront of my thinking. I understand the proportions therefore I can focus on the other elements that go into this animation.
I implemented a system for constructing Donald on every frame. It began with the line of action. Then the basic forms of the character: the head, the upper torso, lower torso, the neck legs then feet; all in that order. Once these were established, I went through and made these forms more solid and thought about perspective as well as the forces involved. Thinking about forces helped me determine which lines were straight and which were curved.
The purpose of this exercise was to see if I could animate simple shapes and keep the proportions consistent. I also wished to display an understanding of the forces at work behind a walk cycle. On the whole, I think it has been successful, although, I found that I was lacking when it came to the neck and head. This has been something plaguing my work since day one and needs addressing.