“In a busy setting, do animation and sound in particular distract viewers from absorbing your messages, or do they help to draw attention? How much is too much?”
The right amount of animation can draw attention to your message. Subtleness, even in a “loud environment,” can capture attention as well. Sounds seems just the opposite. It takes away from the experience and rarely feels natural in the experiences we work with. Sound seems to compete with everything else since it is mixed and hard to focus on while the visual elements give you a specific place to focus.