Animation Body Mechanics: Understanding Exaggeration
You can see great examples of this in the classic Tex Avery cartoons, where the exaggeration was pushed so far to the extreme that it’s part of what made his cartoons so unique and appealing. A character yelling not only had their mouth wide open, but their body was involved in the entire action, and they were so angry they floated above the ground as they screamed. However, if you watch these cartoons closely, you can also see that he still used exaggeration when it was most needed; there are moments where the scene was subdued, right up until the big moment of the scene, and it made the exaggeration all that more appealing and comical.
Take time to study exaggeration in your favorite films and cartoons, examine the type of exaggeration that is felt rather than seen, and study the extremely pushed, the kind you find in films like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the Tex Avery cartoons. The best way to grasp how to implement this principle is to learn how it’s accomplished in your favorite types of movies and cartoons. Remember that even the most realistic shot is going to have exaggeration in it; sure, it may not be as prominent and obvious but it’s still there.