To turn these animations off:
1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor (Start:Run:gpedit.msc)
2. Navigate to User Configuration: Administrative Templates: Windows Components: Tablet PC: Cursor
3. Enable the Turn off pen feedback setting.
Retouching in Photoshop is much smoother without these animated cursors, I had got rid of them some time ago but they came back recently (possible after a service patch). I confirmed that the Microsoft tablet controls service had been switched off but obviously this associated setting was still in place.