Graph reports do not have to be dead as bone. Static graphs and charts are good for simple reports or displaying of information in a straightforward and non-distracting manner. These kinds of graphs are best for conveying the message in a simple and precise way.
However, there are times when your graphs require more than static images. For example, graphs that display live data or data change over a period of time are best done using an animation to visualize the movement of data. Using static images for this is just inefficient and costly. There may also be times when you might want to put an element of interactivity in the graph, like being able to turn some data on or off, or to manipulate the view and focus on a specific aspect. Or maybe, you just want your graphs to be beautiful to see and fun to use.
This is where animated graphs come in. Most often found on web-hosted pages or presentations, animated graphs given some interactivity and bling to your charts. There are many ways to create animated or interactive graphs, from crude animate GIF images to using Macromedia Flash to programming in Java. And of course, there are a lot of tools available that make all these easier. Fusion Charts and XML/SWF Charts are Flash-based tools that have free versions available. There are others as well with limited demo versions.
But be careful not to overdo it. Remember that the primary function of a graph is to present data in a form that is easy to digest. Use animated graphs only when it helps fulfill that goal. Otherwise, your viewers might end up just remembering the coolness but forget the most important part: the data.