Dr. Toon: The More, the Merrier
Anime, meanwhile, perfected the art of ensemble casts extended over long series of episodes and keeps the ball rolling with such international hits as Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Cowboy Bebop (1998), and Death Note (2006). This may well suggest that Belongingness Theory and the concept of parasocial relationships have transcultural implications, strengthening the possibility that an evolutionary artifact is truly at work here.
I therefore suggest that every hopeful animator with an idea to pitch consider the following: Take the number of characters in your proposal and double them. Get a large cast of supporting characters and use them frequently. Make them offbeat and likeable Think in terms of a large family and you may have a pitch that gets you the coveted 26 x 13. Go for it: if Baumeister and Leary are anywhere near right, you have a couple million years of evolution on your side.
Dr. Toon regrets to announce the passing of Gabe the Word-Processing Yorkshire terrier this past December. Gabe was 13-years-old. His proficiency at the keyboard and superior editing skills saved this column (and thus my butt) many times over the years.