I came across this video which succinctly describes the principles described in the famous The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. It's nice to see these little visual indicators showcasing them.
The illusion of life from cento lodigiani on Vimeo.
I have been struggling with balancing my project, I've been so focussed on telling the story and planning out the shots that the actual animation has been suffering despite knowing what the principles are. I hope to polish it more and animate more mindfully following the deadline when I can work on it in my own time.