What it takes, study Disney’s 12 points of animation and practice, practice, patience, practice and more patience.
It also helps to have other animators to talk to, to better understand what needs to be worked on. This is where Portland is becoming a hotbed.
The BlenderPDX club not only meets monthly, but we do it at the Art Institute of Portland, the latter of which is kind enough to let us use both MACs and IBM/Microsoft computers with monitors that most of us only dream of. And yes, its free. Of course if you are interested in an Arts Degree, the AI Art Institute can help with that too, for a fee of course.
To get an idea of animation, here is a youtube playlist that changes from time to time and offers some of the most creative works out there.