Makes you wonder how some shiny Christmas trees on a turntable will go down nowadays. As Applemask once said during one of his brilliant Christmas Wrapping videos, you never get idents that are crafted with "love" anymore. Sprout Boy might be one of the "cuter" postings we've had in recent years (even though the name is crap) but it'll never match the brilliance of, say, BBC One's festive storybook presentation from 1990, or the toys/spinning top look from the year before. And they were used for a fraction of the time these will be.
Agreed, and I'm a huge fan of Applemask's videos. I would love to do some myself actually.
CGI is all too prevalent these days, as is the reliance on live-action and people. If you're going to do that at Christmas, at least make it magical, like 1999 or 2000, which are two of my favourite years. But I suppose if anyone even tried to go back, it would look dated and gimmicky, hence why we're in this very bland period of branding that seems to have been going for over a decade.
For me, it was 2002 which marked the beginning of a sharp decline (and ironically, the year that got me into idents in the first place). We had the dancers replacing the balloon on BBC One, the celebrities on ITV1, and five and UK Gold adopting very dull real life shots with a logo slapped on them, while BBC Two re-used a Christmas ident for the first time. There's been the occasional bright spot (2005 was quite good with both BBC channels getting new, and decent idents) but it does make me sad that we won't ever experience the sort of greatness we once had.