Learning Resources for Blender
Blender is a highly-respected, rather complex animation system that has been used to produce feature-length movies. The free program can be downloaded from http://blender.org, and the examples and tutorials below can help you see what it does and learn how to do it.
Blender's interface is designed for rapid production work, so hotkey shortcuts and mouse activity are the main ways of controlling your work. The hotkeys are initially defined to use the numeric keypad found on desktop computers. To use a laptop computer, follow the directions in this short tutorial to configure Blender for use your number keys instead of a numeric keypad: Blender for Laptops: http://vimeo.com/44839018
Examples (check out the movies!): http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/
Mix reel from SIGGRAPH 2011 conference showcasing MANY dramatic clips (5 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QbzE8jOO7_0&hd=1
Animated Chair (2-min): http://download.blender.org/demo/movies/ChairDivXL.avi (use VLC if your browser/player won't play it)
Here's the master list of tutorial resources: http://www.blender.org/education-help/tutorials/
Print out the page of hotkeys and shortcuts to stay sane: http://gryllus.net/Blender/Syllabus/Blender%20Hotkeys%20Cheatsheet.pdf
In the above page, use the Getting Started tutorials section to begin your study of Blender. "Getting Started With Blender" and the "Blender Beginners Course" are good places to start.
There are MANY YouTube and other Web tutorials, examples, models, and other resources for you to learn Blender!