In essence, there is truly little difference between "traditional" animation or cartoons and computer animation; the primary difference is in the tools used to create these animations, the cost and effort involved in the processes, and the quality of the final output.
Traditional animation is a very hands-on process. This requires a team of artists, cleanup artists, painters, directors, background artists, and film/camera crews, along with the storyboard artists and script writers to work out the original concepts; for large-scale projects, the amount of time, labor, and equipment involved can be staggering.
Traditional 3D animation was less "3D" and more still-lifes of claymations done by use of stop-motion filming techniques; the true concept of 3D animation didn't really blossom until the use of computers in animation became more practical. Computer animation removes the need for many of the extra tools required to create an animation; all you need, in general, is a computer with enough system requirements to run the 2D or 3D software application of choice, and people capable of using that software.