Exploring ideas and then making appropriate decisions for a shot is essential in animation. Start your block and pour over reference, draw a few thumbnails, maybe even play with a few poses in a temp file. But don’t get too bogged down in the details (legs, gaits etc.) In the beginning let’s simplify everything as much as possible. We are animators, people who work in movement and ideas. So let’s start that way. I like to think of creature animation more like puppeteering with an undo button. We all have experience as children bringing figurines or dolls to life just by shaking them about.. I even remember doing this with a rock! Keep it simple.