You can use the Unity-Tweak tool, or another route you can go is to use "Ubuntu 2D" when you log in. This is especially great for computers that are of an older age that cannot run 3D objects very well such as the Ubuntu Dash. Ubunru 2D will not have most of the animations, or at least it doesn't in 12.04 LTS Precise. Though if your not satisfied with the Unity Interface at all, such as me, you can install the gnome panel. To do this method
Open your Ubuntu Terminal: Ctrl+Alt+T
Type: sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback
and let it install.
mind you that this is only for if your satisfaction is not there with the Unity interface. Like me the only reason I don't like unity is that it is too resource hungry. Even on 13.04 and 13.10 it still to resource hungry. They have fixed it a lot since 11.10, but it still requires a lot of work.
With the gnome-session-fallback installed my computer uses about 50% less Ram than Unity uses, going from over 500MB with the Unity Interface to around 250MB with the gnome-Panel (No Effects) applied.
Now keep in mid that this is only for if you don't like unity. If you like it by all means ignore everything I just said and use the Unity tweak tool. It is a great tool for editing Unity settings to make it more suited for you and your computer speed. But also keep in mind, and this is from experience, if you don't know what you are doing; some of the settings in the Unity-Tweak tool can be very confusing (at least for me they were, I don't know about you) and it can mess it up quite badly, speaking from experience.