Plymouth is Red Hat's RHGB replacement starting with Fedora 10 and it uses newer Linux technologies like kernel mode-setting to drive this graphical boot screen. Plymouth offers a number of plug-ins and APIs for creating some fairly unique visuals. Now it looks like Plymouth just might make its way into Ubuntu.
There is now a Launchpad specification to evaluate Plymouth for Ubuntu and potentially use it to replacement the current USplash project. Canonical's Matthew Paul Thomas confirmed on the developer mailing list that Plymouth will also be discussed at the Ubuntu Developer Summit taking place in December.
It certainly would be interesting if they switched to Plymouth in Ubuntu. If they did so in time for Ubuntu 9.04 it would mandate they use at least the Linux 2.6.29 kernel in order to have the needed kernel mode-setting support. Right now Fedora 10 is the only distribution shipping Plymouth. To see what Plymouth looks like, check out the Plymouth video below. Keep in mind that Plymouth is only being discussed and nothing is certain yet. Ubuntu also have to keep in mind, that a change like this also will affect all it's derivatives.
There's an interesting discussion on the Ubuntu forum about Plymouth.