Infinity Train

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Infinity Train
Infinity Train Show with the hbomax logo.png
Created byOwen Dennis
Story by
  • Owen Dennis
  • Alex Horab
  • Lindsay Katai
  • Justin Michael
  • Madeline Queripel (main)
  • Cole Sanchez (episodes 1–5, 7–10)
Directed by
  • Madeline Queripel (supervising)
  • Jill Daniels (art; seasons 1–2)
  • Alen Esmaelian (art; seasons 3-4)
Voices of
Theme music composer
  • Chrome Canyon
  • Owen Dennis (co-composer, episode 1 only)
ComposerChrome Canyon
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerKeith Mack
Running time11 minutes
Production companyCartoon Network Studios
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution (seasons 1–2)
WarnerMedia Direct (seasons 3–4)
Release
Original networkCartoon Network (seasons 1–2)
HBO Max (seasons 3–4)[1]
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatDolby Surround
First shown inNovember 1, 2016 (2016-11-01) (Pilot)
Original releaseAugust 5, 2019 (2019-08-05) –
April 15, 2021 (2021-04-15)

Infinity Train is an American animated television series created by Owen Dennis, previously a writer and storyboard artist on Regular Show.[2] The pilot for the series was released by Cartoon Network on November 1, 2016, before being picked-up for a full miniseries due to positive reception, which premiered on Cartoon Network on August 5, 2019. After the conclusion of the first season, Cartoon Network announced that the series would continue as an anthology series.[3][4] The second season debuted on Cartoon Network on January 6, 2020. The third season began airing on HBO Max on August 13, 2020, with ten episodes airing across three weeks,[5] and the fourth season was released in its entirety on April 15, 2021.[6][7]

The series is set on a gigantic, mysterious and seemingly endless train traveling through a barren landscape, whose cars contain a variety of bizarre, fantastical and impossible environments. Passengers on the train proceed from car to car by completing challenges which help them resolve their psychological trauma and emotional issues. Every season of Infinity Train (referred to as a "Book", each with its own separate subtitle) follows its own storyline and set of characters, although some characters appear across multiple seasons.

All four seasons of Infinity Train have received critical acclaim for their complex themes and characters, writing, uniqueness, visual animation style, and voice acting. In August 2020, Dennis stated that, although he wanted to continue the series for a total of eight seasons, most of the crew had been laid off and the series was at risk of not being renewed for a fifth season; Dennis suggested that HBO Max might be concerned that the series' stories and themes were too dark and unappealing to children.[8][9][10] Promotional material for the fourth season refers to it as the final season of Infinity Train.[11]

Synopsis[edit]

The series is set on a seemingly endless train traveling through a barren landscape; the cars of the train contain a variety of bizarre and fantastical environments. The passengers on the train are people it picks up who have unresolved emotional issues or trauma. As they travel through the train's cars, their adventures inside them give them the opportunity to confront and resolve their emotional problems, represented by a glowing number on their hand that goes down as they confront these issues. Once they resolve their issues and their number reaches zero, a portal opens and they are able to leave the train and return home.

The first season focuses on Tulip Olsen, a girl struggling with her parents' recent divorce. She is accompanied by a small, confused robot named "One-One", and Atticus, the ruler of a kingdom of talking corgis. She eventually uncovers many of the train's secrets and confronts Amelia, a passenger who, instead of resolving her trauma from her husband's death, has usurped the role of Conductor from One-One and tried to take control of the train. Before leaving the train, Tulip persuades Amelia to try to adapt to the changes in her life.

In one first-season episode, Tulip frees her own reflection from the mirror world, and the two part ways. The second season focuses on the emancipated Mirror Tulip ("MT"), now on the run from enforcers attempting to execute her as punishment for abandoning her role as Tulip's reflection. She teams up with Jesse, a new train passenger, as well as Alan Dracula, a silent deer with a variety of powers. She helps Jesse leave the train by helping him learn to stand up for himself, and he returns to the train to help her escape to the outside world, as well.

The third season centers on Grace and Simon, the leaders of a cult of rogue passengers who vandalize the train and assault its denizens to keep their numbers high. Their travels with a young girl named Hazel and her gorilla friend, Tuba, make Grace more sympathetic to the train's denizens. After Simon kills Tuba, it is revealed that Hazel herself is one of Amelia's creations, and Grace realizes what she thought she knew about the train is wrong. After fighting off Simon's attempt to usurp control, Grace begins facing up to and mending her mistakes.

Set decades earlier, during the period while Amelia is establishing control over the train, the fourth season centers on Ryan and Min-Gi, two best friends who want to become famous musicians. Their relationship is strained due to Ryan's brashness and Min-Gi's fear of the future. While on the train, they meet a talking service bell named Kez who has trouble owning up to her mistakes. Ryan and Min-Gi come to realize that they need each other in order for them to move forward in life, while Kez finally apologizes to other train denizens she harmed.

Episodes[edit]

BookNameEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
PilotNovember 2, 2016 (2016-11-02)[a]YouTube
1The Perennial Child10August 5, 2019 (2019-08-05)August 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)Cartoon Network
ShortsThe Train Documentaries10October 19, 2019 (2019-10-19)November 16, 2019 (2019-11-16)YouTube
2Cracked Reflection10January 6, 2020 (2020-01-06)January 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)Cartoon Network
3Cult of the Conductor10August 13, 2020 (2020-08-13)August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)HBO Max
4Duet10April 15, 2021 (2021-04-15)

Shorts[edit]

From October 18, 2019, a series of ten shorts titled "The Train Documentaries" was uploaded onto the Cartoon Network app and YouTube channel. Each short focuses on One-One showcasing a different car on the train, including "The Green Car", "The Tiny Wizard Car", and "The Kaiju Car".

Cast and characters[edit]

Overview[edit]

Character Voiced by Seasons
Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4
Main characters
Tulip Olsen Ashley Johnson Main Mentioned Does not appear
Lake / "MT" (Mirror Tulip) Guest Main Does not appearPictured Does not appear
One-One Glad-One Jeremy Crutchley Main Recurring Mentioned Does not appear
Sad-One Owen Dennis
Atticus Ernie Hudson Main Mentioned Does not appear
Jesse Cosay Robbie Daymond Does not appear Main Mentioned Does not appear
Alan Dracula Character is Silent Does not appear Main Does not appear
Grace Monroe Kirby Howell-Baptiste Pictured Recurring Main Does not appear
Simon Laurent Kyle McCarley Recurring Main Does not appear
Hazel Isabella Abiera Does not appear Main Does not appear
Tuba Diane Delano Does not appear Main Does not appear
Min-Gi Park Johnny Young Does not appear Main
Ryan Akagi Sekai Murashige Does not appear Main
Kez Minty Lewis Does not appear Main
Recurring characters
The Cat / Samantha Kate Mulgrew Recurring Guest Recurring Guest
Randall Rhys Darby Recurring Guest Does not appear
Amelia Hughes Lena Headey Recurring Mentioned Recurring
The Steward Ashley Johnson Recurring Cameo Recurring
Ghoms Dee Bradley Baker Recurring Cameo Recurring Does not appear
Megan Olsen Audrey Wasilewski Recurring Does not appear
Andy Olsen Mark Fite Recurring Does not appear
Mikayla Reagan Gomez-Preston Recurring Does not appear
Reflection Police Agent Mace Ben Mendelsohn Guest Recurring Does not appear
Agent Sieve Bradley Whitford
Toad / Terrence Owen Dennis Does not appear Recurring Does not appear
Nate Cosay Justin Felbinger Does not appear Recurring Does not appear
Lucy Jenna Davis Does not appear Cameo Recurring Does not appear
Todd Antonio Raul Corbo Does not appear Cameo Recurring Does not appear
One Jeremy Crutchley Mentioned Does not appear Mentioned Recurring
Parka Denizens One Kari Wahlgren Does not appear Recurring
Two
Three Keith Ferguson
Judge Morpho Margo Martindale Does not appear Recurring
Cow Creamer Audrey Wasilewski Does not appear Recurring
Pig Baby/Toddler J. K. Simmons Does not appear Recurring
Nigel Character is Silent Does not appear Recurring
Morgan Margaret Cho Does not appear Recurring

Main characters[edit]

Book 1 – The Perennial Child[edit]

  • Tulip Olsen (Ashley Johnson) – A 13-year-old girl struggling with her parents' divorce who finds herself trapped on the train when trying to get to a game-design camp. She is analytical, down-to-earth, and determined to get off the train.
    • Naomi Hansen and Lily Sanfelippo voice younger versions of Tulip, respectively at age 5 and from age 6 to 8.
  • One-One – A spherical robot consisting of two separate hemisphere-shaped robots, formerly collectively known simply as One. In Book 1, One-One accompanies Tulip on her journey, and eventually learns that it is the rightful Conductor of the train. At the end of Book 1, One-One resumes its duties as Conductor, overseeing the operations of the train and passengers. Throughout the background of Book 4, set in 1986, One bonds with Amelia, loosening restrictions on the passengers, before she usurps his position as the Conductor.
    • Glad-One (Jeremy Crutchley) – The exuberant and optimistic part of One-One.
    • Sad-One (Owen Dennis) – The morose and pessimistic part of One-One.
  • Atticus (Ernie Hudson) – A talking Corgi and the king of Corginia, one of the train cars. He accompanies Tulip on her journey.

Book 2 – Cracked Reflection[edit]

  • "MT" (Ashley Johnson) – Tulip's reflection, freed from the mirror world by Tulip in an episode of Book 1. At the start of Book 2, she has been living on the train as a fugitive from the reflection police. She accompanies Jesse on his journey through the train while struggling with her sense of identity as an independent person, rather than Tulip's reflection or a construct of the train. Upon leaving the train at the end of Book 2, she names herself Lake.
  • Jesse Cosay (Robbie Daymond) – A passenger who becomes MT's friend and helps her escape the train. He is easygoing and friendly, but has a hard time resisting peer pressure; his experience on the train teaches him how to stand up for his friends and his younger brother. Upon initially leaving the train in the middle of Book 2, he returns in order to help MT leave too.
  • Alan Dracula – A magical shapeshifting white-tailed deer, a denizen of the train who accompanies MT and Jesse.

Book 3 – Cult of the Conductor[edit]

  • Grace Monroe (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) – The young adult leader of the Apex, a gang of passengers who aim to raise their numbers to remain on the train indefinitely, and believe One-One to be an impostor who usurped the role of Conductor. After appearing as a secondary antagonist in Book 2, Grace returns as one of the main protagonists of Book 3, in which she gradually begins to see the error of her ways and decides to try to fix her mistakes.
    • Brooke Singleton voices Grace as a child
  • Simon Laurent (Kyle McCarley) – Grace's second-in-command and best friend, who first appears alongside her in Book 2. Although the two are very close, they gradually drift apart during Book 3, due to Simon's unwillingness to acknowledge his mistakes and learn from them.
    • Samuel Faraci voices Simon as a child
  • Hazel (Isabella Abiera) – A 6-year-old girl who travels the train. Although she has a number on her hand, it does not glow; unknown to her, she is actually a denizen of the train created by Amelia's experiments.
  • Tuba (Diane Delano) – Hazel's gorilla friend and protector, a denizen of the train.

Book 4 – Duet[edit]

  • Min-Gi Park (Johnny Young) – A young man who is hesitant to pursue his dreams of being a musician and feels pressured to live a conventional life instead.
  • Ryan Akagi (Sekai Murashige) – Min-Gi's best friend, who aspires to become a famous musician and tends to make rash decisions.
  • Kez (Minty Lewis) – A sentient concierge bell who accompanies Ryan and Min; her thoughtless behavior has made her many enemies among the train's other denizens.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • The Cat (Kate Mulgrew) – A talking cat who is a collector and con artist, and runs a variety of businesses on the train. In Book 1, she is an agent for Amelia. Book 3 reveals that her name is Samantha, and she was Simon's companion when he first boarded the train.[12] (Recurring Book 1 and Book 3; Guest Book 2 and Book 4)
  • Randall (Rhys Darby) - A liquid person who creates duplicates of himself at will. (Recurring Book 1; Guest Book 2 and Book 3)
  • Amelia Hughes (Lena Headey) – A passenger who overthrew One-One and usurped his position as the Conductor, hoping to use the train to recreate her dead husband Alrick Timmens (Matthew Rhys). In Book 3, Amelia works with One-One to make amends and undo the mistakes she made on the train. (Recurring Book 1 and Book 3, Recurring Book 4)
  • The Steward (Ashley Johnson) – A menacing robot that assists the Conductor. (Recurring Book 1, Book 4; Cameos Books 2–3)
  • Ghoms (Dee Bradley Baker) – Dog/cockroach-like creatures that inhabit the Wasteland outside the train and attempt to suck the life-force out of the living. (Recurring Book 1 and Book 3; Cameo Book 2)
  • Megan Olsen (Audrey Wasilewski) – Tulip's struggling mother and Andy's ex-wife who works as a nurse. (Recurring Book 1)
  • Andy Olsen (Mark Fite) – Tulip's depressed father and Megan's ex-husband. (Recurring Book 1)
  • Mikayla (Reagan Gomez-Preston) — Tulip's best friend before she gets on the train. (Recurring Book 1)
  • The Reflection Police, or "Flecs" – A pair of officers pursuing MT in order to destroy her for abandoning her responsibility as Tulip's reflection. (Guest Book 1; Recurring Book 2)
  • Toad / Terrance (Owen Dennis) – A toad whom passengers must kick in order to exit the Toad Car. (Recurring Book 2)
  • Nathan "Nate" Cosay (Justin Felbinger) – Jesse's younger brother. (Recurring Book 2)
  • Lucy (Jenna Davis) – A young girl and member of the Apex. She lost an eye because of a harpoon pack. (Cameo Book 2; Recurring Book 3)
  • Todd (Antonio Raul Corbo) - A young boy and member of the Apex. (Guest Book 2; Recurring Book 3)
  • One (Jeremy Crutchley) - The conductor of the train and the previous combined form of One-One (Recurring Book 4)
  • Parka Denizens (Kari Wahlgren and Keith Ferguson) – A trio of parka-wearing train denizens, who seek retribution against Kez for unintentionally transforming them. (Recurring Book 4)
  • Cow Creamer (Audrey Wasilewski) – A French porcelain cow raising a giant sentient piglet, who pursues Kez for making her ward cry. (Recurring Book 4)
  • Pig Baby/Toddler (J. K. Simmons) – A giant sentient piglet raised by Cow Creamer. (Recurring Book 4)
  • Judge Morpho (Margo Martindale) – A caterpillar sheriff of an Old West town who metamorphoses into a butterfly judge, who seeks to punish Kez for leaving a tea stain on their town charter. (Recurring Book 4)
  • Nigel - a silent astronaut bouncer who guards the entrance to a space-themed nightclub, who also pursues Kez for getting him fired from his job. (Recurring Book 4)
  • Morgan (Margaret Cho) – A sentient castle whom Kez used to reside in. (Recurring Book 4)

Guest voices for Book One include Matthew Rhys and Ron Funches. Guest voices for Book Two include Wayne Knight, Laraine Newman, Nea Marshall Kudi, Bill Corbett, and Rhys Darby. Guest voices for Book Three include Rhys Darby, Edi Patterson, Phil LaMarr, and Alfred Molina. Guest voices for Book Four include Steve Park, Thomas Lennon, and Donald Faison.

Production history[edit]

Conception and influences[edit]

Prior to creating Infinity Train, Owen Dennis worked as a storyboard artist on Regular Show. Dennis conceived Infinity Train in 2010, originally as a film. He was inspired by "the feeling of waking up in an unsettling space" which he felt while on a return flight to the U.S. from China. Claiming when he had "woken up. I looked around, and there were a bunch of people staring into screens in the dark in this quiet room. I thought this was kind of creepy. And it sort of started from there."[13] Like protagonist Tulip, Dennis created video games as an amateur in his teens, including point-and-click adventure games and mods for titles such as Half-Life 2 and Unreal Tournament 2004. He has stated that Myst has been one of his primary influences since he was 13, and its influence continued in Infinity Train.[14] He also cites Doctor Who, Agatha Christie, The NeverEnding Story, The Matrix, Philip K. Dick, Star Trek: Voyager, Sliders, and "The Mysterious Stranger" segment from The Adventures of Mark Twain as influences, along with novels such as Nightbirds on Nantucket and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.[15][16] Dennis has also described Infinity Train as "Saw for kids," in that each season is essentially a morality play based around machinery designed to help one overcome personal issues and appreciate life.[17]

Development[edit]

Infinity Train has three staff writers, who make up the main story team in addition to showrunner Dennis and supervising producer/director Maddie Queripel. Cole Sanchez served on the story team for Book 1's development but departed to work as supervising producer on Summer Camp Island. The process on each episode was that a writer would make an outline, an expansion of the outline, a script, and then would send it to a team of two board artists. The 'boarders' would have 5 weeks to make thumbnails, then the full boards, and then clean them up, before it would be sent away for animation. The animation is done by Sunmin Image Pictures in Seoul, South Korea using traditional animation methods.[18]

2016 pilot[edit]

This show was made because of the massive fan reaction to the pilot, and fans are what will help make more happen in the future. — Beth Elderkin, io9[19]

The pilot was first released on the Cartoon Network App and VOD on November 1, 2016, and released the following day on the official Cartoon Network YouTube channel. The short garnered a million views within its first month of availability and has since gained 5.2 million views as of July 2020, making it the most viewed pilot on the channel while two other originals, Welcome to My Life is the second most viewed pilot, and Twelve Forever (later moved to Netflix) being the third most viewed pilot.[20] A petition to greenlight Infinity Train was made shortly after the pilot was released and garnered over 57,000 signatures.[21] On March 11, 2018, Cartoon Network's official website launched a teaser for Infinity Train that confirmed the pilot had been greenlit as a full series and would premiere in 2019.[22][23]

Full production[edit]

Infinity Train (Pilot)
Infinity Train (S01E03)
Tulip, One-One and Atticus as seen in the pilot (top) and in the season 1 episode "The Corgi Car" (bottom).

In July 2018, a sneak peek of the first season was revealed on the Cartoon Network panel at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. It was released a couple of hours later on Cartoon Network's social media platforms.[citation needed] A full trailer for Infinity Train was released in June 2019 which was unlocked by playing the show theme on the Infinity Train website. It was later uploaded to Cartoon Network's YouTube channel.[citation needed] On July 11, 2019, the show was confirmed to premiere on August 5, 2019.[24] On July 20, 2019, the first episode was shown during the Infinity Train panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It was then released on the Cartoon Network app and website later that same day.[25] The first season would be 10 episodes long, with two episodes airing each night from August 5 to August 9, 2019.[26]

From October 18, 2019, Cartoon Network started uploading a series of Infinity Train shorts onto their app and YouTube channel called "The Train Documentaries", which focused on One-One showing off a number of cars in the train, including "The Green Car", "Tiny Wizard Car", "The Kaiju Car" and "The Tech Support Car".

A promo after the final episode of the first season confirmed the series would return.[3] On November 22, 2019, the Infinity Train website was updated with a new claw machine puzzle. Completing the puzzle leads to a trailer for Book 2. The trailer was then released officially the next day.[27] Book Two debuted on January 6, 2020.[28]

On July 6, 2020, Book 3 was officially announced with a release date of August 13, 2020.[29] Unlike its predecessors, it aired on HBO Max instead of Cartoon Network. Dennis revealed in a reply to a tweet that Infinity Train was originally planned to air on HBO Max from the beginning, but due to the streaming service's delay from its original 2019 launch date, the first two seasons were aired on Cartoon Network instead.[30] It was later revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that the book would be titled Cult of the Conductor.[31] Book 3 was released in three batches, with the first five episodes debuting on August 13, the next three on August 20, and the final two on August 27.[32]

On February 17, 2021, Book 4 was officially announced with a teaser trailer containing distorted audio.[11][6]

Future[edit]

On August 16, 2020, while Infinity Train Book 3 was releasing on HBO Max, Dennis reported that though the team had plans for more seasons, the whole crew and most of the production staff had been laid off, and the possibility of a series renewal depended on the series' viewership on HBO Max.[33][19][8][9][10]

When asked how many more seasons of Infinity Train were planned, Dennis stated "We have rough ideas for themes and which characters we'd like to follow for five more seasons, up to season eight. Feels like '8' is a good place to stop because it looks like an infinity symbol."[19] When asked what he would like to do with the series in the future, Dennis expressed interest in exploring other time periods of the train, as well as a movie following Amelia's story. Dennis also stated that a season with an older Tulip was considered.[34]

Dennis expressed interest in doing Infinity Train comic books that "are in canon and could be written by or starring non-Americans."[19][34] Dennis said that there were plans to make an Infinity Train video game, and there was an Infinity Train VR experience "where you hung out and solved puzzles in Corginia." Dennis also stated that a choose-your-own-adventure novel was considered. However, all of these projects were shelved when company priorities shifted.[34]

On March 11, 2021, it was announced that Infinity Train would end with its fourth season.[7] Dennis clarified on Twitter that he did not intend for it to be the final season, and remains open to continuing the show in the future if given the opportunity.[35][36]

In a Reddit AMA on April 16, 2021, the day after Book 4's release, Dennis confirmed that Book 5 would have been the aforementioned Amelia-focused movie, and although a full script had been written, Cartoon Network Studios passed it on because they didn't think it had a "child entry point."[37][38] Dennis also claimed that books 5, 6, 7, and 8 would have covered the themes of grief, guilt, revenge, and acceptance, respectively,[39] and Book 8 would have touched on Alzheimer's disease.[40] Dennis and series writer Lindsay Katai stated that there were also plans for an Infinity Train Christmas special.[41][42]

On May 8, 2021, Dennis released a mockup frame from the unproduced Book 5 in response to a fan movement to renew the show trending #1 worldwide and in multiple regions on Twitter.[43]

Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California held an official Infinity Train art show from September 25 to October 3, 2021. The exhibition featured a collection of Infinity Train art by the crew of the show, exclusive Infinity Train merchandise, and a panel featuring the show's creator, Owen Dennis.[44][45]

Soundtrack[edit]

Infinity Train: Book 1 (Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Infinity Train [feat. Chrome Canyon]
ReleasedDecember 6, 2019
GenreSoundtrack
Length47:41
LabelCartoon Network
ProducerChrome Canyon & Owen Dennis
Infinity Train [feat. Chrome Canyon] chronology
Running Away (Extended)
(2019)
Infinity Train: Book 1 (Original Soundtrack)
(2019)
Train to Nowhere
(2021)

On December 6, 2019, Infinity Train: Book 1 (Original Soundtrack) was released with 27 songs from the first season, including extended versions of "Running Away" and "Boogie Bash (The Monster Party Car)".[46] On April 15, 2021, the song "Train to Nowhere" from Book 4 was released as a single.[47]

Home media[edit]

Infinity Train: Book One was released on DVD on April 21, 2020.[48] It includes animatics, commentary tracks, and The Train Documentaries shorts. Infinity Train: Book Two was released on DVD on May 25, 2021.[49]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Infinity Train received critical acclaim upon its debut. On Rotten Tomatoes, each season has an approval rating of 100%, with season 1 based on reviews from 8 critics[50] and the other three from 6 each.[51][52][53]

Caroline Cao of /Film declared it a "wild triumph",[54] while Nerdist's Andrea Towers declared it "one of the best animated programs of the year."[55] Reuben Baron of CBR favorably compared it to Cartoon Network's animated miniseries Over the Garden Wall in its perfection, hailing it as "a beautifully handled piece of self-contained, character-driven storytelling."[56] Skyler Johnson from Comic Watch called it "excellent", with "emotional depth that is rarely seen in children's television", "witty, clever humor", and "stellar voice action."[57] Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media gave the series 5 out of 5 stars. In her review Ashby praised the positive messages about friendship and self-reflection. Ashby also praised the character of Tulip and the show's emotional moments.[58]

The third season of Infinity Train particularly received critical acclaim. William Hughes of The A.V. Club praised season 3 for its darker themes and messages, hailing it as "the best, most challenging season yet."[59] Petrana Radulovic from Polygon praised the series' complex character arcs and noted the third season is a testament to the infinite potential of the premise.[60] Andrew Kolondra Jr. from The Vanderbilt Hustler called season 3 "genre-defying" and said "thanks to shows like Infinity Train, the modern animation world is finally approaching a point at which it may break free of the notion that animation is 'just for kids.'"[61] Observer Media said the show has grown into its own, developing a compelling world and internal mysteries "that will draw you in with a masterclass in character development to fuel your drive to keep going."[62] Beth Elderkin of io9 praised season 3 for "enhancing the show's dedication to avoiding black-and-white views of morality". Elderkin particularly praised episode 5 of season 3 for its "stunning revelations" saying "it's worth watching for those alone."[63]

The fourth and final season of Infinity Train also received positive notice, though reception was considerably subdued compared to Book 3. The bulk of criticism was directed towards its lighthearted tone after the darker themes of the previous season, as well as its lack of finality, though many critics acknowledged in their reviews that Book 4 was not intended to be the final season. Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly still hailed it as "a solid season of television."[64] James Poniewozik of The New York Times agreed that the ending was bittersweet with the knowledge that the series was ending before the creative team had planned, but praised its humor and characters.[65]

Ratings[edit]

As the show first entered production, the pilot for Infinity Train was first aired on Cartoon Network on Saturday February 11, 2017 at 6:00 AM without any advertisements for it.[66] Despite this, the pilot pulled in approximately 703,000 views amongst the 18–49 year old demographic and ranked as the 33rd of the top 50 original cable telecasts for February 11, 2017.[67]

In September 2020, Parrot Analytics found that the audience demand for Infinity Train was 21.3 times the demand of the average TV series in the United States within 30 days of its release.[68] In December 2020, Observer Media reported that Infinity Train was the fourth most-watched original series on HBO Max since its launch in May.[69]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Infinity Train: The Perennial Child was nominated in 2020 at the 47th Annie Awards in the category Best Special Production.[70]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This is the date the pilot launched on YouTube; the first television broadcast of the pilot was on February 11, 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Suzette Smith (July 6, 2020). "Cartoon Network's Infinity Train Will Stream Its Third Season Exclusively On HBO Max". GameSpot. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  2. ^ Infinity Train | Minisode | Cartoon Network – YouTube. November 2, 2016. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Until Next Time | Infinity Train | Cartoon Network. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Owen Dennis [@OweeeeenDennis] (November 24, 2019). "#infinitytrain is an animated anthology series, all set in the same universe, with different protagonists for different stories. The first story is called Infinity Train: Book One - The Perennial Child. The second story is called Infinity Train: Book Two - Cracked Reflection" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "HBO Max Highlights - August 2020". Warner Media. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Radulovic, Petrana. "Infinity Train is full steam ahead for Book 4". Polygon. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Infinity Train hits the end of the line with first trailer for fourth and final season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Elderkin, Beth (August 26, 2020). "Infinity Train's Creator Says the Show's Future Is in Jeopardy". Gizmodo. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Llewellyn, Tom (August 2020). "INFINITY TRAIN SEASON 4: HBO MAX RENEWAL STATUS, POTENTIAL RELEASE DATE AND CARTOON NETWORK". HITC. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Radulovic, Petrana (August 20, 2020). "Book 3 of Infinity Train shows the series' infinite potential". HITC. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "WarnerMedia Expands Kids & Family Offerings on Cartoon Network and HBO Max Under New Tagline Redraw Your World" (Press release). WarnerMedia. February 17, 2021. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Canyon of the Golden Winged Snakes Car". Infinity Train. Season 3: Cult of the Conductor. Episode 7. August 20, 2020. 7 minutes in. HBO Max.
  13. ^ Tracy Brown (August 8, 2019). "'Infinity Train' tackles issues many kids shows avoid. The creator is proud of that". LA Times. Retrieved August 31, 2020. It’s a kids’ mystery-horror-comedy-science-fiction show,” Dennis told The Times.
  14. ^ Animation Magazine (August 4, 2019). "Animated People: Owen Dennis' 'Infinity Train' Steams Ahead". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "Owen and Maddie here – ask us anything!", reddit.com/r/InfinityTrain, August 9, 2019, Doctor Who, Agatha Christie, Myst, Neverending Story, The Matrix, Phillip K Dick, Star Trek Voyager, Sliders, and a lot of books that my parents used to read to me like Nightbirds on Nantucket, Wolves of Willoughby Chase, etc. -OD"
  16. ^ Dennis, Owen. "So today I found out that many people on my crew haven't seen this segment from the Adventures of Mark Twain, adapted from his story "The Mysterious Stranger". If you wanna know the aesthetic that is affecting Infinity Train, this is it. I've never seen a piece of media that has spoken to me and who I am as much as this does. This is just my soul. If I ever make something half as good as this, I'll die happy". Tumblr. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  17. ^ Owen Dennis [@OweeeeenDennis] (September 6, 2020). "lol I talked many MANY times in the writers' room about Saw. I've seen every Saw movie, all in theaters. "Yeah, it's like Saw for kids." is a phrase I've said countless times" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ LTD, SMIP CO. "SMIP. CO., LTD". smipkorea.com (in Korean). Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d Elderkin, Beth (August 26, 2020). "Infinity Train's Creator Says the Show's Future Is in Jeopardy". io9. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  20. ^ Owen Dennis (December 8, 2016). "Oh, Hey, Hello. - YYYEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!". Tumblr. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "Cartoon Network's Infinity Train: Why Isn't This a Show Yet?!". cartoonbuzz. October 3, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  22. ^ "Infinity Train". March 2, 2018. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  23. ^ Dade Hayes (March 8, 2018). "Cartoon Network Rolls Out Largest-Ever Slate, Deepens Creative Bench". Deadline. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  24. ^ Pedersen, Erik (July 11, 2019). "'Infinity Train': Cartoon Network Series Set For Five-Day Rollout Next Month". Deadline. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  25. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (July 20, 2019). "Infinity Train trailer and first episode arrives at the SDCC station right ahead of release". Polygon. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Dennis, Owen [@OweeeeenDennis] (July 22, 2019). "Infinity Train is 10 episodes. 2 episodes a night for 5 nights, starting August 5th. It was designed to be watched as 2 episodes every night for 5 nights because that's what CN did for OTGW, so we thought it might work that way with us too. It flows well this way, I like it" (Tweet). Retrieved July 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
  27. ^ Cartoon Network. "Infinity Train: Book Two (Official Trailer)". YouTube. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  28. ^ Cartoon Network [@cartoonnetwork] (December 4, 2019). "Another door will open in 2020 ♾🚃⁣⁣ ⁣⁣Infinity Train Book 2: Cracked Reflection, a five night special event, starts in the U.S. on Monday January 6th at 7:30p on Cartoon Network!⁣⁣" (Tweet). Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via Twitter.
  29. ^ "Third Installment of Animated Anthology Series Infinity Train will Premiere Exclusively on HBO Max This Summer". Warner Media Group. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  30. ^ Owen Dennis [@OweeeeenDennis] (August 13, 2020). "Infinity Train was supposed to come out on HBO Max a year ago, but it didn't exist yet because of the lawsuit with Warner/AT&T, so everything got held up. The show is still made under CNS though, so we have the same rules we've always had but the money comes from HBO Max" (Tweet). Retrieved September 9, 2020 – via Twitter.
  31. ^ Comic-Con International (July 24, 2020). "HBO Max And Cartoon Network Studios: Infinity Train Comic-Con@Home 2020". YouTube. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  32. ^ Owen Dennis [@OweeeeenDennis] (August 14, 2020). "When do the next set of infinity train episodes release? 8/20 - 3 more episodes 8/27 - The last 2 episodes" (Tweet). Retrieved August 15, 2020 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ Owen Dennis [@OweeeeenDennis] (August 16, 2020). "And we can make more, *IF* we get the views. Right now, our whole crew was laid off and they all got new jobs. They wanna make more, I'd like to make more, so we have to watch the show and get other people (especially teens and young adults) to also watch the show on HBO Max" (Tweet). Archived from the original on August 17, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ a b c Lunning, Just (April 20, 2021). "'INFINITY TRAIN' SEASON 5? CREATOR PLANNED A MOVIE, A VIDEO GAME, AND MORE". Inverse. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  35. ^ Owen Dennis [@Oweeeeendennis] (March 11, 2021). "While this wasn't the intended final season of #infinitytrain, it is a self-contained story, and will add to the history and lore of the show like each season before it has. Everyone worked super hard on it, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out" (Tweet). Retrieved March 11, 2021 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ Owen Dennis [@Oweeeeendennis] (March 11, 2021). "Production stopped last December. Maybe someday we'll be able to make more, I don't know, but for the foreseeable future, this is going to be the last season and I hope you all have a good time watching it. Continue to support it however you can!" (Tweet). Retrieved March 11, 2021 – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "I am Owen Dennis, creator of Infinity Train on HBOMax which just released it's [sic] 4th and final season today! AMA!", reddit.com/r/InfinityTrain, April 16, 2021, We wrote an Infinity Train movie. It was season 5. They passed on it though because they thought it didn't have a child entry point. The show is over and no one is working on making anymore of it. I'd love to make more, but it's not what Cartoon Network wants to make right now.
    It's very unfortunate, however, maybe someday it'll change! Many shows have come back after they've been cancelled because of fan engagement, so anything is possible as long as fans exist. – oweeeeendennis---------The man himself!
  38. ^ "I am Owen Dennis, creator of Infinity Train on HBOMax which just released it's 4th and final season today! AMA!", reddit.com/r/InfinityTrain, April 16, 2021, Will we ever get some sort of Rough Script for Book 5, if it never gets released? Like how Marc Laidlaw did with Half-Life: Epistle 3? – LiamQuantum
    No, because a full script was written. No reason to release anything except the full script (which I won't) – oweeeeendennis---------The man himself!
  39. ^ "I am Owen Dennis, creator of Infinity Train on HBOMax which just released it's 4th and final season today! AMA!", reddit.com/r/InfinityTrain, April 16, 2021, 5) Grief 6) Guilt 7) Revenge 8) Acceptance– oweeeeendennis---------The man himself!
  40. ^ "I am Owen Dennis, creator of Infinity Train on HBOMax which just released it's 4th and final season today! AMA!", reddit.com/r/InfinityTrain, April 16, 2021, Fuck this is horrifying dude. We did have a season where I wanted to touch on Alzheimers, the final season actually. It was going to be loosely inspired by an autobiography that my grandfather wrote while he was slowly succumbing to it. – oweeeeendennis---------The man himself!
  41. ^ "r/InfinityTrain - Comment by u/oweeeeendennis on "I am Owen Dennis, creator of Infinity Train on HBOMax which just released it's 4th and final season today! AMA!"". reddit. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  42. ^ Lindsay Katai [@lindsaykatai] (April 17, 2021). "Not getting to do the Christmas special we were working on fucking kills me. Honestly, maybe even more so than not making Book 5. It was gonna be so fun and stupid. #InfinityTrain" (Tweet). Retrieved July 11, 2021 – via Twitter.
  43. ^ Owen Dennis [@OweeeeenDennis] (May 8, 2021). "As a thank you for that amazing Infinity Train trend party on April 29th (which got the hashtag to NUMBER ONE for 6 hours!), here's the mock up still I promised from the Amelia movie/5th season!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Dudok De Wit, Alex (August 6, 2021). "An 'Infinity Train' Exhibition Is Coming To L.A.'s Gallery Nucleus". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  45. ^ "Infinity Train". Gallery Nucleus. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  46. ^ "The sound of Tulip's journey is available NOW! Download and stream the #InfinityTrain Book 1 soundtrack composed by Chrome Canyon and Owen Dennis!⁣". Twitter. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  47. ^ "One ticket for the Train to Nowhere, please. Listen to the FULL SONG from #InfinityTrain Book 4 and watch the complete series now on @HBOMax! #ad". Twitter. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  48. ^ "Infinity Train: Book One Home Release Information". Nothing But Geek. February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  49. ^ @CineDump (February 24, 2021). "All Aboard for a Mind-Bending Journey
    INFINITY TRAIN: BOOK TWO
    The DVD Arrives at Your Destination on May 25th
    From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment"
    (Tweet). Retrieved February 24, 2021 – via Twitter.
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  52. ^ "Infinity Train Season 3". Rotten Tomatoes. August 27, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  53. ^ "Infinity Train Season 4". Rotten Tomatoes. April 15, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  54. ^ "'Infinity Train' Review: Cartoon Network's New Show is a Wild Triumph". /Film. August 13, 2019. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  55. ^ "INFINITY TRAIN Is a Surreal Adventure About Self-Reflection and Talking Corgis". Nerdist. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  56. ^ "REVIEW: Infinity Train's Self-Contained Story Leaves You Wanting More". CBR. August 11, 2019. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
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  58. ^ Ashby, Emily (August 19, 2019). "Infinity Train Review". Common Sense Media.
  59. ^ Hughes, William. "Book 3 is Infinity Train's best, most challenging season yet". The A.V. Club.
  60. ^ Radulovic, Petrana. "Book 3 of Infinity Train shows the series' infinite potential". Polygon. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  61. ^ Andrew Kolondra Jr. (August 31, 2020). "Taking character development off the rails in 'Infinity Train: Book 3'". The Vanderbilt Hustler. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  62. ^ Just Lunning (September 7, 2020). "'Infinity Train' Book 3 Proves the Show Can Do Anything With Its Premise". Observer. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  63. ^ Elderkin, Beth (August 13, 2020). "Infinity Train Book 3 Is About the Lies We Tell Ourselves". io9. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  64. ^ Franich, Darren. "Infinity Train is your next great discovery: Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  65. ^ Poniewozik, James. "The Strange, Lovely 'Infinity Train' Reaches the End of the Line". The New York Times. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  66. ^ "Infinity Train Pilot Debuts On Cartoon Network USA 11th February 6am". Toonsphere. February 10, 2017.
  67. ^ "Showbuzzdaily's Top 150 Saturday Cable Originals Network Finals 2.11.2017". February 14, 2017. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
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  69. ^ Katz, Brandon (December 14, 2020). "The TV Shows People Streamed the Most in 2020". Observer. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  70. ^ "47th Annual Annie Awards Legacy Past Nominess & Winners". annieawards.org. Retrieved August 31, 2020.

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