There are many programs that you can use to animate your character. I would suggest that you use the best ones that the actual film industry uses to create their 2D and 3D characters.
I like to use the techniques that will speed up the creation of animation. In 2D animation, first draw the background scene for the character you are creating. Then create a storyboard. Then draw your character the way you would like to create it with a digital tablet and pen ( if you do not have one, you can draw it on paper and then take a clear picture of it and upload into the animated app you choose to use. I actually have drawn my characters, detail or not by using only my computer mouse. I am an expert at this, I must say so myself) Here is a tip: In 2D Animation, the less detail your character has, the smoother and easier it is to animate. Another tip is to practice, practice, practice....
3D animation is very different, the more detailed the character the better.
Now here is a list of some popular 2D and 3D animation applications you can use to animate your character. Many have a trial period. Most have a student discount or allow you to use it as a student for free.
1) Toon Boom Harmony
2) Adobe Flash ( now called Animate CC)
3) Adobe After Effects ( has great Rigging tools)
6) 3ds Max
7) Cinema 4D
You should always have fun. Author: JoAnn Pinkney Wilcox, http://www.ypdproduction.com