Had this problem, Win10 x64. Solved it.
Building animations worked for months, then randomly stopped working entirely. Breweries never had people in them but did have barley come and go, water supplies would never turn from black to blue, clay pits never had people in them, entertainment places would never show the dancers etc - even though they were all fully employed, active and working, the visuals were dead. Burning buildings would turn to rubble without fire.
Strangely I could load an old game from when the animations were working, and the last state of the animation would appear frozen in time forever; 4 dancers not dancing, for example.
The problem seems to be a mix of poisoned save files and a broken game. I had to do the following:
1) Set aside my save files in a temp folder (they look like Blah.dat, and then a folder of same name with a few files in it, all in the Save folder in your Pharaoh folder, or the AppData Pharaoh folder).
2) Uninstall the entire game, including save games.
3) Verify the game really is wiped off my machine*
5) Install again
6) Copy my old save files back to the Save folder that it installed into
7) Start a new regular Pharaoh game under a new Family**
8) Play long enough to see the map
9) Load my old save game (back out to Family menu then back in).
I put the * and ** in there to stress that I tried all of the above steps without these seemingly unnecessary, irrelevant steps, but something really does not work if you don't do these 2 annoying things. I think the game's files and the save files were corrupted in some way that meant I had to push past both to get this dang thing working again. You really do need to wipe the entire game, and run a new game, to get things working properly again. There's something about having done that that must allow it to work past whatever's wrong with your Save files.
Post edited March 10, 2017 by soopahman