See here a nice example of 3d cartoon characters topology. These are examples from "Meet the Robinsons". See how the same geometry arranged in other way can produce the different characters. The edge loops are the same.
You will find some poles examples in blue. These vertex with more than 4 edges connected has to be placed where don't affect the animation too much.
Poles deform with some kind of pinch effect. Try to avoid them in places with deformations when you animate.