The Muppet Show
Strange Brew (The McKenzie brothers film)
Snoopy Come Home
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rowan & Martin's Laugh In
Richard Scarry's books.
This is the stuff that I saw as a kid or a young teen and it stuck with me for some reason. As you can see my slice of humor runs a bit off center from the usual animated fare served up by ol' Uncle Walt. I like verbal humor every bit as much as visual. However it has to be character driven and intelligent, not just self aware pop culture references that the viewer can congratulate themselves' for recognizing. Shows like the Muppet Show, M*A*S*H, and SCTV had a grown up flavor of humor without being needlessly obscene. Benny Hill was winkingly raunchy, but in a tamed down sense. Laugh In was an odd 1970's thing, but I loved the various character sketches. It too had a bit of a naughty streak, but it never crossed line into crass. It was what Saturday Night Live was, only not live, and nearly 10 years before SNL. I liked it better. The Peanuts shows & M*A*S*H greatly influenced my sense of what it means to have a story with some heart and humor at the same time. Woody Woodpecker was just energy exploding all over the screen, pure visual joy. Meanwhile the various Looney Toon shorts were burned into my cerebral cortex from infancy. They too had smart verbal humor at times, very sharp, not dumbed down or condescending. I remember being a 5 year old kid sitting and getting lost in Richard Scarry's books for what seemed like days at a time. The characters were so simple, but extremely appealing and expressive. His illustration was whimsical without being cloying. I never grew tired of looking at them and even today when I see one I'll take some moments and travel back and get lost in them again. For lack of a better word, they're just magical.
Oddly, I was never inspired by Disney films. As a kid they bored me. The only ones I remember liking were Song of the South and 101 Dalmations, and even those were hit and miss. It wasn't until I had become an adult and a professional animator that I looked at Disney films more closely. They still don't really influence or inspire me, even though I can appreciate the craftmanship involved. I can admire them for what they mean historically and technically, but they still don't do much for me. Go figure.