To me... Animated GIFs are a little piece of magic. When I first started learning the "art of graphic design" I wanted to absorb EVERYthing possible about formats... Mostly so I could clearly see the advantage/disadvantages of each. GIFs are one file type I skipped past though. In hindsight, it was intentional...
The nerd in me would say that GIFs are obsolete - mostly because the horrid resolution to file-size ratio. A GIF felt like a sad old version of a PNG. Now though - even with my decade of experience, I really don't understand where they came from. I understand that their just rotating, low quality images... but really, they're a cool little fluke that bubbled up from a generation that had so much new technology that unique functionality was regularly traded for novelty.
I'm sure it's an over-dramatization to say... but to me, animated GIFs are a tiny little mystery in an overtly complex and scientific world.
Some of my favorite animated gifs
So here are a few of my favorite animated gifs I've stumbled across while browsing around lately...
Graphic Designer and Web Developer from Raleigh, NC. Classically trained in Applied Economics and currently running the dynamic design firm that bares his name.