Animation frames from distributed workers

Hi there,

After seeing John Hunter's talking this morning at SciPy, where he
showed displaying the results of matplotlib.animation.Animation in the
IPython notebook (and having not seen Animation's "save" function
before) I tested it out myself. It worked quite nicely for local,
scripted jobs. Thanks!

Anyway, one of the most common use cases I have is to distribute data
to workers, where typically each worker does their own analysis,
visualization, and then dumps the resultant Matplotlib figure to disk,
where I assemble them by hand. It would be really awesome to be able
to use the matplotlib animation framework from within this, during the
normal reduction phase.

Is there a simple way to either pass in a list of filenames to the
animation process (looks like the _make_movie function might be a good
candidate) in a forward-compatible way, or a simple way to read in an
image from disk and make the entirety of a figure that image? It
seems like either of these would work -- the former, so that I could
hand assemble, and the latter so that we could write a "func" for
FuncAnimation that would simply stream back the on-disk files.

Thanks for any ideas,