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I love Alexander Petrov's work. Animated paintings on glass are such a wonderful thing... I actually have this on DVD, highly recommended:I'd like to point out you were the one that first said subject matter. Trying to make a traditional short that looks that realistic would be...very painstaking. However, maybe you'd be interested in a short called The Cow, which is paint on glass. (for those unfamiliar with animation, that means the entire animation is created on a single pane of glass; the painting is 'changed' for each successive frame - there are no cells overlaid backgrounds.)
Amazon link: http://amzn.com/B000676S8U
I worked in classic 2D animation studio, and animators there don't had to know how to draw.Though they are perfect professionals in their field, if you ask them to draw realistic portrait or even character concept they'll say they are not artists.
In production one person don't have to do everything. Animators have Character Design Sheet, where are all foreshortenings, color, expressions. They only animate them. Then other people do coloring, add background, sound.
I think an important thing to point out is that the things that come with knowing how to draw, do not define what drawing is. A knowledge of anatomy, gesture, composition, perspective, colour theory, lighting etc. is not restricted to the ability to draw. Drawing is just an applied, physical activity which draws from these pieces of knowledge to produce a drawing. Animation is another, applied, physical activity which also draws on these pieces of knowledge and understanding.
Saying you need to be able to draw to animate is similar to saying you need to know how to build a motorcycle to be able to build a car. I think it's more along the lines of you need to have a good understanding of auto-mechanics, engineering, electronics and probably a whole load more to build either.
And this doesn't even touch on the idea of knowing theory but lacking performance. I read so many books on so many aspects required in drawing, animation, whatever... and as I read them I think to myself "yea, I knew that. It's good and I understand it.". I then take up a pencil and attempt a performance based on my knowledge of the theory. The result generally being fairly tragic. This being said, I know the theory, I know what it should look like, I know what I want it to look like, but I fail miserably at executing the drawing.