Throughout the history of animation walk cycles and similar movements have been incredibly important. A walk cycle clearly shows the quality of the work. A poorly produced animation will lack a natural feel, characters will appear to not be functioning right or mechanic in movement. Another thing which lowers the quality of work considerably is the placing of the feet in a space. If this is not exactly accurate the character will appear to slide or moonwalk. Or, if the walk lacks the necessary frames, it will look jerky and ruff. I created some videos which are very good examples of this.
The first, too smooth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OijNVPeQCug&lc=z130ibxxgzeiy1dnx22ogruhqm3rvrudx
And the second, too ruff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZDHbVE1QvM
Here are some walk cycles which I have been working on. Getting the speed and posture of a human walk just right makes a serious difference to how effective the cycle is.
I have been looking at some blog posts by ‘Angry Animator’. Here is a link to their page:
I also created a blog about the early work of disney, you can read that here.