I have decided, instead, to implement a simple procedural time-based animation in the shader. The player model really only has three animations: a static animation when stationary, an eat animation when moving, and a die animation when dying. I should be able to do this in the shader if I pass in a flag and a delta-time variable. Similarly, I want the ghosts to have some animation--in the original, the bottom of the ghosts animated sine-wave--fashion, and the eyes pointed in the direction of travel. This should also be doable in the shader.
So, yay! I can forgo adding more complex animation methods until my next project.