The first thing to check is the scale of the layers. It should not be over 100%. The next thing to check is the Zoom Factor for your composition window. It should also not be over 100%. If you set the Zoom Factor - The farthest box on the bottom right of the Composition Panel, to something like 400% then one pixel becomes 16 on the screen and things look blocky. There is no work around and they won't render that way anyway. The last thing to check is the resolution of your composition viewer. I always have mine set to Auto so that it's full resolution when I am viewing at 100% or half when the zoom factor is 50%. The last thing that could be happening is that you have the layer set to Draft mode in the timeline.
If none of those things fix your problem then report back and give us some more specific details.
BTW, if your stick figures are single pixel wide lines they are going to look terrible when animated because single pixel wide lines cannot be accurately interpreted unless they precisely line up with the pixel grid and that's nearly impossible to do.
Show screenshots that include the entire Composition panel.
Thanks for the reply--not at my workspace at the moment, but I will check the Draft mode.
I didn't mention that my figures (they're more like public bathroom style figures), are pre-composed together. When I copied and pasted the figures back into the main composition, they were clear again.