If you want to start animating,i recomend you do the following:
1. Familiarize yourself with 3ds max 9 (9 if possible,but early versions will do the job.)
2.Read this: Fpsbanana.com
Might look like useless lines of text,but will get you started on the right foot.
3. Dl and watch thease: Fpsbanana.com
4. You are ready to start animating,but remember,it isnt easy starting out. But with a little trial and error you will eventualy be good.