I know eventually we'll be making our own characters in Maya... and while browsing the internet I came across an interview on CGchannel.com with David Couchariere. He's a 3D animator from Belgium who nows works for Dreamworks. His animation can be seen in the Ice Age movies, Madagascar 2, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon.
He gives good advice... like how when considering an animated character's facial expression you should try it out yourself in the mirror first. In the article there are also some examples of his work and work profess. You guys should defnitely check out the aricle and the site... it has some really good resources like interviews with other professionals, inside looks at technology behind movies and games, and some tutorials.