Below is an example of some character movement cycles, taken from "Animation 1: Learn to Animate Cartoons Step by Step (Cartooning, Book 1)" by Preston J. Blair:
Use of cycles, amongst other time-saving techniques of limited animation, does not necessarily reduce the overall quality of the finished animation. Aesthetically, it merely adds a different stylised element to an animation than there would be with a more time consuming approach.
Take the below video for example, a Max Fleischer Popeye cartoon from the 1930s - a lot of use of animation cycles can be seen in this (for example the snoring scenes at the beginning, the sleepwalking movement and various elements from the fighting scene) But the quality of animation is still high and it is still entertaining and interesting to watch:
Further examples of use of cycles, this time in a more modern animation: