A recently published patent application filed by Sony Ericsson earlier this year shows a method of animated text messages. In the description, it says that the device will parse the SMS message and determine how to animate the object. It's almost like FaceTime and texting in one!
If it looks anything like that picture above, it will be a bit creepy.
Here's more info on the application:
A device and method of creating and displaying a short message service (SMS) message capable of attaching and displaying animated characteristics is disclosed. To create an animated SMS message the user responds to input prompts asking for: a mobile identification number that identifies the receiving party, an animation flag that determines whether the SMS message will have animation characteristics, a content pointer location that specifies the location of a content file resident on the receiving device, and the actual text of the SMS message. To display an animated SMS message the receiving device parses the SMS message to determine how to apply the desired animation characteristics. An animation flag is checked and the location of a content file on the receiving device is determined. The content file is retrieved and combined with the text of the SMS message and the combination is then animated according to the animation type specified.