Staging is very important to animation, eventhough it has nothing to do with the movement, physics, or timing happening of the animation, but rather the composition of the scene itself. This is the art of the framing, layout, and position of all elements on screen to acheive the most clarity in the visual storytelling process.
When talking about staging there are a few things to consider - the
silhouette of the character and the symmetry of the character.
As a general rule the audience should be able to tell what is happening
just by seeing the silhouette of the characters. If the actions are
not clear enough to under stand when they are in silhouette, the odds
are they are not going to be interesting in a normal view. This also
helps to cut out un-needed movement. If a movement happens on the
side of an object that will not be seen, don't make that movement.
If it is an important movement the animator may want to conceder changing
the audiences view point, the stance, or the location of the character
to make all of the movements mean something to the viewer.
Symmetry in animation tends to also build a boring scene. Life like
movement is unsymmetrical. A person's stance is not symmetrical
either. When jumping we tend to land one foot then the other not both
feed at the same time. When animators animate an image careful attention
must be paid to keeping a realistic asymmetry in the scene. This is
important with increased use of computers in animation. When a computer
is used to make a face it tends have to much symmetry resulting in
a doll like look.
Staging also is important for drawing attention to what you want
seen. Compositon, camera angle, character placement, background layout; these are all factors that help create the focal point for the scene.
Below are samples of the Rule of Thirds in action, it's one of many basic staging techniques to help keep your scenes well balanced (visually). There should always be one or two hotspots within any given scene, and if one were to align the subject within the range of influence of these hotspots, it always makes for a more energetic and interesting composition.
Imagine a pair of lines dividing the picture into thirds horizontally and a second pair dividing it into thirds vertically. Place the most important visual element (usually a significant object, the character's face or sometimes the eyes in a close-up) on one of the points where the lines intersect. Live-action cinematographers use this rule very often. Following this "tic-tac-toe grid" ensures that the main focal point is off center, well balanced, and allows some open space in front of the characters.