Animanifesto: a burst of explanatory video

I started thinking when I saw this nice 3-minute infographic-y video perspective on “the future of computing,” via my bro at Crunchgear.

Trillions from MAYAnMAYA on Vimeo.

Interesting content, but I especially love the production – the way the animation matches up with the story-telling, conveying all the points more clearly by visualizing the metaphors. This is easy to do, but hard to do well, and they nail it here.

Question 1:
Is there a name for this type of short burst of video/animation with voiceover explanation or perspective of some sort? It’s not really interactive – it’s more one-way, like a manifesto. I lump videos like this together with the great Common Craft explanatory shorts and think of them all as pioneering a new type of manifesto production, the way ChangeThis was able to do for a variety of interesting content with their nicely-designed PDFs. I didn’t really “get” ChangeThis when it came out (and still don’t really), since it didn’t embrace the interactivity that the 2000s-era web enabled, but I do respect them for knowing their niche and focusing on it. Back to the videos – would it be terrible if I called these “animanifestos?” Google says 99 hits, so it sounds like it’s wide open territory, but of course that’s with SafeSearch on – God knows what I’d find if I turned it off.

Question 2:
What animation/design tools are the Trillions folks using? Are there custom tools that cater toward infographic-heavy static or animated production? If not, what might those tools incorporate? I could imagine some sort of deep Wolfram Alpha-like incorporation of data into the actual production tools that facilitate easy visual manipulation of information. I’m thinking at most basic a hopped-up PowerPoint/Excel…wait – now that I’m thinking about this, didn’t Hans Rosling’s Trendalyzer already get bought by Google? WHERE’S MY JET PACK?

End manifesto.