How many characters is too many characters in a story?
Nerd backstory: I was reading Green Lantern 26 yesterday, which was an epilogue to "The Sinestro Corps War" (I know, I know) but... here's what got me going.
The Corps has 7200 members.
Their enemies had the same amount.
Obviously, they didn't focus on that.
But in the book they have four green lanterns, nine guardians, and they introduce "The Alpha Lanterns," which are 12 new characters. It made my head hurt.
And then it made me think of writing for animation. I'll use my current show as a question.
Yin, Yang, Yo has three leads, but honestly, you usually see two of them, with the Panda being a running gag, and one villain. There may be the occasional angry mob, or marching army... but it's a buddy comedy with fighting. The ones that lean toward action tend to have more characters.
The same with Fairly Odd - When the three are acting on their own, and complications arise, the tighter dynamic seems to lend itself to better comedy. But when we needed to blow it out - make it bigger with action (like the TV movies or the Jimmy/Timmy crossovers) I think the comedy ratio changed.
So to me - Comedy=smaller cast, Action=Larger cast.
But there's too large, I think, even for action. For example, I really enjoyed the first few seasons of Justice League and Teen Titans but when it became a gigantic cast - "Titans around the world" and "Justice League Unlimited," I felt like I lost a lot of characterization.
Not to say it wasn't good, not to say I didn't watch and enjoy. But to me, there was a difference.
They had a hell of a lot more action figures to sell, but to the detriment, at points, of story.
Just a non-strike related, non-ASIFA archive related thought on this Saturday morning.