MovieClips has sounded like a good idea since the day I first heard of them. Everyone has their favorite movies, scenes, and lines of dialogue, and often these moments come up in day-to-day conversation. Having a handy video clip makes it easier to watch, share, or discuss with friends and family. But the latest move from MovieClips is completely unexpected: they’ve sort of traveled into the future, and brought back with them a gorgeous visual treatment for YouTube annotations.

MovieClips Interactive YouTube Annotations Post-Roll

MovieClips on YouTube was like a match made in heaven–one of the most sought after video varieties (movieclips) hosted on the world’s largest video site. It was a natural partnership. But if you’d told me they’d also be the channel to finally break through the YouTube annotations rut and leapfrog a few years into the future with their beautiful and slick presentation… I might not have believed you.

But I would have been wrong.

Check out this video from MovieClips, in particular the annotations at the end (go ahead and jump to the end if you have no patience or don’t enjoy Happy Gilmore):

Now isn’t that just about the most awesome use of YouTube annotations you’ve ever seen? Here’s some of what I like about it:

  • It looks amazing. Design-wise, it’s gorgeous.
  • The soothing menu music is also kind of nice, though I’m a little surprised I’m saying that.
  • There are clickable menus in those annotations–the buttons for numbers 1 through 5 each slide in a new set of related links. Just a ton of effort went into this, and I couldn’t be more impressed.

Questions I have:

  • How did they do that? Even the links on some of the annotations, if you hover over them, appear to be breaking out of the typical uses for “boxes” that have traditionally been allowed.
  • How practical is this kind of thing for the average video creator?
  • Does MovieClips have some special arrangement with YouTube to allow for cool features the rest of us can’t get? Or are they just the first to take things up a notch?

What do you think? What examples have you found of exceptional use of annotations? Please feel free to share in the comments below. I’m really impressed and blown away. Just as the thumbnail can impact whether or not a viewer clicks to watch a particular video, annotations could quickly become just as important in driving (and keeping) video traffic.