To make a short animated cartoon, first plan the animation by sketching a story board with the main scenes or moments in the short. Sketch the characters in the short in full figure, profile and three-quarter profile to create a foundation from which to create their movement. Write out any dialogue in the story before completing the drawing. Keep it simple and as short as possible to avoid complicating the animation.
Complete the frames for the animation either by hand or using animation software. If drawn by hand, import the frames into a photo editing software program, such as Photoshop, where you can edit images and add other media to them. Start with a single background that you can use for multiple frames and build the characters or moving objects in layers on top of that background.
Use a sound editing program to add the dialogue to the short. Some programs allow you to use a lip-syncing feature for easy recording to the mouth shapes already formed in the animations. Create the mouth shapes of the characters on a separate layer to fit the recording, and make any changes to the existing drawing if the sound is not matching up correctly. Import the sound files to the animation software and line up the cue for the dialogue appropriately. Decide on a format that plays back from a CD-ROM and export the animation.