Goodness, you're right, it doesn't get enough credit. Partly because it reuses a lot of old animation/voices/designs (kaa/hiss, baloo/little john, marian/duchess), I think, and I've heard a lot of people didn't really get why they made such a loved story with anthro animals rather than humans!
But animation is all about shortcuts, and animals are more fun to draw, and heck, they were still finding their feet after Walt died!
Did you just 'Duh' me? Seriously? Way to be offensive when you could have just shared your knowledge kindly.
For one, animals ARE easier to animate. It has been said countless times by Disney animators in various documentaries and DVD extras. Not to mention I've studied animation, and one of the first things we were taught was that humans are one of the hardest things to animate.
Walt may have been toying with the idea of Reynard the Fox (and dismissed it because the character wasn't the kind of character he wanted kids to idolise), but the fact is that the studio /were/ still finding their feet after Walt died, several lead animators had left the studio, and they were reusing old animation as well as old ideas.