This is just something I didn’t notice for a while so I’m not sure if it’s always been a feature or not. Either way, if anyone else found it as unintuitive as I did, here you go.
There will be character actions that are almost perfect, but the facial expressions just don’t work for what I’m going for, or I’d prefer them talking, etc. The most common feedback I got for some of these default character emotions was “is there a way to make them look less… intense?”. Well, there is now.
When you select the character within the timeline, there’s a whole section in the bottom left hand corner of the screen labeled “Expressions”. Next to that is a dropdown menu, with controls for different emotions that will only affect the face of the cartoon character. For example, in this case, choosing a “neutral” expression will calm her down to a reasonable level of contented. This expression will carry over if you decide to pick another action, too. If you decide you want to go back to the default, you can just press the “x” next to the Expressions and it will reset it to the original expression.