Loading gif hanging on expensive render

To help improve the user experience of a particular expensive transition and render, I’ve been using a more friendly loading spinner. Rather than using a full loading route, it’s a centered div with an animated gif, that is displayed using the loading event.

On large customers, this particular render is churning over several hundred models and turning them into a grid. When this begins, the gif hangs. This looks similar to Loading GIF stops animating when loading objects.

Are there any short term solutions that can help to allow the gif to keep updating, or is the browser thread simply locked as suggested in a few places elsewhere? Obviously any potential performance improvements will be a double win long term, but may take some time to attain, if ever. Paging is an obvious choice to at least try, and this looks pretty cool as well: http://runspired.github.io/smoke-and-mirrors/#/examples/infinite-scroll