9/5/2016 Fork Update
This is my first use of GitHub so I might not be doing things right. I have updated this Stop Animations extension to include the option to stop animations on just a single screen (as often animations are mostly above the fold.
I have also modified the size it outputs the screen shots to compensate for the vertical scroll bar. I suspect this is going to be different depending on which platform one is on so it might not come out right on a Mac, Chromebook, or Linux device.
Chrome extension to stop animations from distracting you while reading.
Just press the escape key [esc]... and press again to restore.
Works by taking a screen shot and layering it over the page... unfortunately it can't do a full screen shot (see bug report 45209), so it re-updates when you scroll or resize the window.
As Google Chrome cannot take a screen shot of the whole page, it creates a new one on scrolling or resizing.
This can create a jumpy/flickering type experience which is not ideal:
Feature request: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=469663
It looks like there might be the ability to pause animated images (not JS, CSS, etc):