Who among you is not a cartoon lover?   

You must be thinking, “What kind of question are we even asking?” Because if any such being exists, they must belong to Mars. 

Instead of getting upset with our question, feel delighted with our strategy of making you fall in love with cartoons more than before.

Would you like to ask how?                                                                                                        

Yes, you can because Spongebob is calling you to wear his cool and funky shots. OO S!! I mean to know how the creation of him and his cute shorts took place.

Spongebob and our other favorite cartoon-animated characters are the children of cartoon animation software. So, suppose you want to become the god and employ these software programs to create characters and powerful animations as a hobbyist, marketer, or entrepreneur who wants to grow the business in attractive and engaging w ys. In that case, you are in the right place.

We have created a list of the 11 best cartoon animation software for beginners and professionals, like the brotherhood of Phineas and Ferb, just for you.

Top 11 Cartoon Animation Software to create great animation 

1. Powtoon – Cartoon Animation Software

Powtoon is a productive software for 3d cartoon animation that makes creating professional-quality videos and presentations more effortless than ever!

Founded in 2012, Powtoon has become the go-to tool for businesses, educators, and individuals who want to bring their ideas to life with professional animations and dynamic visuals ls. Join the Powtoon community today and elevate your visual communication to the next level!

Features of Powtoon

  • It provides a massive library of professionally-designed templates, characters, props, videos, and soundtracks, which makes it great for creating cartoon animations.
  • Upload your media, videos,  GIFs, images, professional voiceovers, and anything you need to get your audience to care, connect, and act. 

Pros

  • Presence of a wide variety of preset but customizable templates. It is a great assistance that any tool can offer.
  • Provides a fairly intuitive process for editing.

Cons

  • Watermark cannot be removed from the background in the free version.
  • Limitation of 90 seconds for imported video.

Pricing

Pro – US$89/month
Pro+ –  US$197/month

Supported By

  • Windows, Mac, Android, and iO 

2. Cartoon Animator – Cartoon Animation Software

Focussing on its features will help us better understand the convenience it can provide any animator to bring imaginative characters into real life.

Features of Cartoon Animator

  • Lip-sync animation from audio
  • Motion capture tools 
  • Animate character – prop
  • Prop Dynamics & SFX
  • Give life to props – Elastic Motion
  • Stretch Animation
  • Combine props and link SFX
  • Light and shades – Effect Layers

Pros

  • Integration with other programs such as Photoshop, Krita, Affinity, or Clip Studio Paint.
  • Easy animation, and thus, it is best for beginners in 2023.

Cons

  • It's best suited for business projects according to the price.
  • It requires regular updates.

Pricing

PRO: $99
Pipeline: $199

Supported By

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux 

3. OpenToonz – Cartoon Animation Software

If Toonz makes you understand the cartoon, then you are correct. This tool is utilized to create 2D animation and cartoon animation. But its name has other meanings, too, as it is based on the software ‘Toonz.'

The standout features of this tool are its intuitive interface which makes it easy to learn and work on, even if you have no animation experience. 

Features of OpenToonz

  • Plugin effect SDK 
  • Changing picture styles for easy and smooth animation creation.
  • Wavy distortion for perfect-looking animations.
  • Best scanning GTS scanning tool. 
  • This animation software is compatible with raster and vector images.
  • Interconversion between the sequence image of the colored binarized TGA and the OpenToonz format.

Pros

  • Works on both Windows and MacOS.
  • It is open-source and free. Therefore, it's the best free cartoon animation software for beginners.

Cons

  • There is an absence of tutorials, and one needs to refer to some youtube tutorials to use this easy app easily.
  • Some options, like onion skinning, are hidden.

Pricing

It is free and open-source 2D animation software. 

Supported By

  • Windows and Ma 

4. Autodesk Maya – Cartoon Animation Software

Choosing Autodesk Maya as some premium features influenced the 3Dcharacter animation tool. Let's take a closer look at them.

Features of Autodesk Maya 

  • Customizable workspaces
  • 3d modeling capability with polygon modeling, NURBs, and sculpture modeling tools 
  • Cached playback feature

Pros

  • Its easy installation process makes the software simple and smooth for the users.
  • The Time Editor and Graph editor makes creating and editing even tricky, complicated animations simple.
    Pros
  • The tool is integrated with heavy rendering tools.
  • It also believes in adding scripts and plugins with its python API.
  • The node-based workflow again leads to the smooth use of software and the creation of 3d computer animation work.

Cons

  • It is a bit pricy.
  • The characteristic of this 3d animation software that stands out is its demanding learning curve, including its node editor and scene hierarchy.

Pricing

The free trial version is just for 30 days, and after that, the user needs to purchase the subscription at $205/month.

Supported By

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux 

5. Moho Pro – Cartoon Animation Software

Features of Moho Pro

  • A powerful 2D rigging option is available.
  • Optimized drawing tools for flawless creation of animations.
  • The option of Smart bones to create real characters.
  • Easy import of files from other tools – photoshop, clip studio paint, etc.
  • Total control over the video production timeline, graph, and other interpolation modes.

Pros

  • The tool has an active community to learn and share.
  • It is a user-friendly 3D animation tool.

Cons

  • There is limited Support for FBX file support.
  • It demands a high-configuration system for maintaining stability.

Pricing

It is a free animation software for windows with a 30-day free trial.
Moho Debut 13.5 – $59.99
Moho Pro 13.5 – $399.99

Supported by 

  • Windows and Mac

6. Toon Boom Harmony – Cartoon Animation Software

Toon Boom Harmony is a versatile 2D premium animation software animators, studios, and content creators use to create high-quality animations for film, television, web, and games.

Can you guess which cartoons must have been produced by this program? Let us tell you that The Simpsons (1989), Beauty and beast: the enchanted Christmas (1997 video), Tarzan 2: the legend begins (2005 video), and many more have been created with the magical tools of Toon Boom.

Learn about its characteristics that let the studios choose it as their animation weapon.

Features of Toon Boom Harmony

  • A comprehensive set of vector-based drawing tools allows animators to create and edit high-quality artwork easily.
  • The software is available in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese, making it accessible to users worldwide.
  • Advanced lip-sync tools to deliver realistic and expressive dialogue scenes.
  • Node-based animation provides animators with a flexible and intuitive way to design complex animations.
  • Advanced camera controls for sophisticated movements and effects, such as panning, zooming, and tracking shots.
  • Powerful Scripting Tools to automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflow.

Pros

  • Toon Boom Harmony's tools provide users with high-quality animations for the most demanding productions.
  • User-friendly interface that provides quick access to the tools they need to create animations.
  • Collaborative workflow allows the animators to work together on projects in real-time.
  • Toon Boom Harmony provides a wide range of export options allowing users to deliver their animations in various formats, including HD, 4K, and 8K.
  • It comprises a community of active users.

Cons

  • The program is highly customizable and can be complex to learn. Therefore the learning path can be challenging.
  • Toon Boom Harmony requires a powerful computer with a high-end graphics card and much RAM to run smoothly.
  • It has a high-cost barrier for independent animators and small studios working with limited budgets.

Pricing

Harmony 22 Essentials  – USD 27.00 per month (USD 219.50 annual billing)
Harmony 22 Advanced – USD 67.50 per month (USD 525.00 annual billing)
Harmony 22 Premium – USD 123.50 per month (USD 1,001.50 annual billing)

Supported By

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux 

7. Clip Studio Paint – Cartoon Animation Software

Clip Studio Paint is one of the best 2D animation software for professional cartoonists, comic book artists, and animators. This software offers many tools and features for creating high-quality animations, illustrations, and comics.

Features of Clip Studio Paint

  • Advanced features like instant backgrounds, color grading with ease, advanced drawing, fixing of vectors, creating complex lines, and much more under the categories of Character art, illustration for design, comics, manga, and webtoons. 
  • Wide range of brushes that mimic traditional mediums like oil, watercolor, and pastel.
  • You have complete control over the elements in your animation using the advanced layer options, including vector and 3D layers.
  • Animation tools for making fine-tuning your animations easy.
  • You can use keyframes to specify your objects' positions, rotations, and scales and preview your animations in real time.
  • With the integrated storyboard and timeline, you can easily design an animatic for your animation.

Pros

  • With versatile brushes, animation tools, and more, it is ideal for many projects, including comic books, illustrations, and animations.
  • Clip Studio Paint is relatively affordable compared to professional-grade animation software.
  • It is capable of creating 3d animation with great AI technology.

Cons

  • There is an absence of audio Support in animation.
  • Rigging tools are not available in this cartoon animation program.
  • The interface of the program could be more precise.

Pricing

Clip Studio Paint Pro (Best for character art, concept art, and illustration) – US$49.99
Clip Studio Paint Ex (all Pro features + advanced manga, comic, webtoon & animation features) – US$219.00

Supported By

  • MacOS, Windows, iOS, iPad, Android, and Chrome OS 

8. Unity – Cartoon Animation Software

As the name of the software suggests, it can unify all the advanced features of making animations, especially cartoon-style animation ns. Thus, it suits CGI and cinematic animated films and television.  So, underestimating the tool is only an option for learning what it can do.

Features of Unity

  • Unity's robust animation system supports 2D and 3D animations and offers various animation tools and features, such as animation clips, animation curves, and keyframe animation.
  • Unity's built-in physics engine allows for realistic physical interactions between objects in animation, such as falling objects or characters jumping.
  • Great tool for prototyping everything from games to interactive visualization.

Pros

  •  Cross-Platform Support, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and WebGL.
  • Unity is a versatile platform that can be used for various projects, from simple and best 2D animations to complex 3D games.
  • Unity's growing community of developers and artists creates and shares assets like characters, animations, and environmental elements.
  • Unity is available in nine languages.

Cons

  • It may be challenging to run on older or lower-powered computers.
  • The tool may have features and tools that more specialized animation software offers.
  • The free version has limited features.

Pricing

Individual and personal plans are free

Unity plus – US$399/year per seat
Unity Pro – US$2,040/year per seat

Supported By

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux

9. Inkscape – Cartoon Animation Software

Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that creates clean, professional-looking cartoons, illustrations, and other animations. Without thinking again, we want to know how and why this tool is right for your business and hobbies.

Features of Inkscape

  • Inkscape is designed for vector graphics, allowing scalability without losing quality.
  • Artistic and technical illustrations based on XML, SVG, and CSS standards.
  • Inkscape supports extensions, allowing users to add new functionality to the software, further expanding its capabilities.
  • Inkscape has a comprehensive set of tools, including pen, shapes, text, and gradient tools, making it easy to create a wide range of cartoons, illustrations, and designs.
  • It can edit a project using the XMPP protocol collectively.

Pros

  •  Cross-Platform Support, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Inkscape offers a customizable interface, allowing users to tailor it to their needs and preferences.
  • Its zero cost gives a massive advantage to those on a tight budget.

Cons

  • The tool has a chance of lagging while working with large files.
  • The tool may have only a few features and tools as compared to other software.
  • Inkscape cannot edit .eps file, a widely known format all designers use.

Pricing

It is one of the best animation software that is a free and open-source 3D animation program.

Supported By

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux

10. Adobe Animate – Cartoon Animation Software

Adobe Animate is a professional-grade animation software that provides designers and animators with the tools to create interactive animations, multimedia content, and vector graphics for the web, TV, and digital media. Here are some of the best features, pros, and cons of using Adobe Animate for cartoon animation.

Features of Adobe Animate

  • Powerful Timeline: The software has a robust timeline that offers precise control over animation keyframes and the ability to add sound and interactivity.
  • Adobe Animate offers a range of tools to make your animations and games, including buttons, actions, and scripting support.
  • Adobe Animate can export animations to various platforms, including HTML5, Flash, WebGL, and other video formats.

Pros

  •  With the help of the user community, users can easily learn Adobe Animate without any prior knowledge.
  • Adobe Animate integrates seamlessly with other Adobe products, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, making it easier for designers to work across different programs.
  • A lip synchronization option with the characters is available.
  • It is the best animation software for beginners.

Cons

  • It is a paid video animation software, which can be expensive for individual users or small businesses.
  • People new to animation and multimedia production can initially find the tool challenging.
  • The performance of Adobe Animate can be slow on older computers, especially when dealing with complex animations.
  •  Although Adobe Animate can export animations for mobile devices, the software is not optimized for mobile use.

Pricing

It is free of charge for the first 7 days; after that subscription plan is as follows-

Monthly – US$30.48 
Yearly (paid monthly) – US$20.31
Yearly (paid completely) – US$232.23

Supported By

  • Windows and Mac

11. Procreate – Cartoon Animation Software

Procreate is a powerful and widely popular digital illustration and top animation software designed for the iPad. With a robust set of tools, a simple user interface, and an affordable price point, Procreate has quickly become the go-to choice for many artists and animators.

Features of Procreate 

  • Procreate offers a comprehensive brush library with over 130 customizable brushes, including pencils, inks, markers, and more. 
  • The program allows you to work with multiple layers, making it easier to separate different artwork elements and animate them individually.
  • Time-lapse Recording, with this feature, you can record your entire creative process and turn it into a time-lapse video.
  • Advanced Animation Tools include onion skinning, automatic looping, and frame duplication.
  • Color Selection and Mixing, including a color wheel, color palettes, and the ability to create custom colors.
  • It uses frame-by-frame animation to create great cartoons and other animations. 

Pros

  •  It has 120hz performance to take full advantage of Apple's ProMotion technology.
  • Procreate is designed for the iPad, making it highly portable and allowing you to create and animate.
  • The tool has a large and active community of users, providing a wealth of resources and Support, including tutorials, tips, and tricks.

Cons

  • It only supports a limited number of file formats, which can be limiting for some artists and animators.
  • The program is only available on the iPad, so users with other devices cannot use the software.
  • It works in pixels, so you can't create vectors.

Pricing

One-time pricing – $12.99 (exclusively from the Apple Store)

Supported By

  • iPad versions

Ready to create Cartoon Animations with the best Animation Software?

After covering the journey of the 11 best cartoon animation software in 2023, it is time to employ them in your life, career, and business. Whether you are beginners who want to start a career or a business person looking for professional cartoon animation software to take your idea of video marketing to another level, we have created this list from scratch to help with all the challenges you have been facing till now.

From creating short animations, full-length feature films, or anything in between, the best animation software is available to fit your needs and budget. No matter which software you choose, you can be confident that it will help you create compelling and eye-catching animations to entertain and engage your audience.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to creating cartoon animations, a variety of software options are available. However, the selection of the best animation tool depends on your needs and experience level. However, Cartoon Animator, Adobe Character Animator, Clip Studio Paint, Powtoon, and Toon Boom Harmony could be professional animation tools.

Professional cartoon animators often use industry-standard software such as Adobe Flash, Toon Boom Harmony, or TVPaint. This software can help create high-quality animations by offering advanced features and tools, but it may require significant time and money to master.

For open-source and free options, several programs, such as Blender or Synfig Studio, offer similar features to paid options and are easy for beginners. Additionally, more straightforward online tools, such as Animaker or Biteable, offer basic animation capabilities for free.

Creating a 2D cartoon animation can seem daunting, but anyone can do it with a powerful animation tool and a bit of creativity. Here's a simple process to make your 2D cartoon animation. First, conceptualize your idea, choose the best software, draw your characters and backgrounds, animate your characters, and finally, review and refine your animation. So get creative and bring your ideas to life!