I read recently that someone thought animation was the key to Java's early success. JAVA TECHNOLOGY: THE EARLY YEARS "Next, Gosling and Gage pushed the audience over the edge with an animated line-sorting algorithm that Gosling had written.
In each of three sets of horizontal lines of random lengths, the demo sorted the collection by size, from shortest to longest, by actually moving them up and down in the browser. The audience had never seen anything but static images in a browser before this: The lines were moving, as if being sorted by unseen hands!
Suddenly, everyone in the room was rethinking the potential of the Internet. Far from the crash-and-burn scenario Gosling had first envisioned, his demo had jolted a very influential audience off their seats, and they were delivering enthusiastic applause. And within this technology-entertainment crowd, word would spread quickly."
That draw dropping demo still runs, too.