You can get Autodesk Maya for free from a certain website (I forget the name, so you'll have to dig around ^^', but they offer it to art students for free) but you can't use it without an education >> I've tried, even with tutorials it's pretty much impossible; literally a foreign language xD" Unfortunately, all of the really nice ones are super complicated like that XD" Pencil is a nice little 2D program. It works for simple animations, and with practice can make some decent anime style stuff. It's free: [link] Hope that helps
Oh, I'm sure with more practice I could figure it out, but I'm fairly new to it now and I know I would benefit from an instructor. It seems very complicated when you've never seen something like it before xD
I'm no expert on this by any means, just sharing what I know xD
Both programs are for different people. I've used Blender, and it was a decent stepping stone into better, more powerful programs like Maya. I have no idea what Blender can do now, as I used to use a very old version, but Maya is a very effective 3D program that can let you do nearly any trick in the industry if you know how. Simulates water, hair particles, etc.