For a while, Xtranormal was my favorite animation application, but GoAnimate might just give it a run for its money. The interface is intuitive and slapping together a movie really doesn’t take much time at all.
It’s free to sign up for GoAnimate, and you can make a basic characters and animations for free. The site does finance its operations via micro-transactions like buying clothes for a character — want the cartoon fireman’s helmet? It’s going to cost you a few actual pennies. But you can use the basic functionality of the application for free.
For users familiar with Xtranormal, GoAnimate doesn’t have the same type-to-talk functionality, but you can use your laptop microphone or upload audio clips. While it might take a few minutes or a tutorial to get going, once you do you will have a wealth of options for introducing role-playing or storytelling lessons in the classroom, as well as just being that hip, cool teacher who lets students make cartoons in class.