Rather than focussing on telling the audience about the character, can you give them information into a narrative looking at the world or situation they are in, without the visual context of a scene.
To test this I have experimented with producing different walk cycles looking at aspects that could be conveyed such as age and intent of the character.
The final set I am working with (below) are a series of walk cycles featuring the character reacting to the world around them to see whether conclusions can be formed on the world itself and the characters situation.
Basic Sneak Cycle
Basic Run Cycle