Cartoon Network greenlit Owen Dennis’ Infinity Train! This is the best news I have received this year so far.
Infinity Train originally aired as an eight-minute mini-sode back in 2016. During that year, several other mini-sodes also aired. All were pilots for potential new shows. None of them though reached the same success as Infinity Train, which garnered over 1 million views in about a month. The original short can be found here, and the teaser can be found here.
Unrelated but I love this idea of airing possible pilots online. It’s a really good way of gauging audience’s reactions at a low risk to both the creators and the network. If there’s a positive reaction, and people really like it they will let the network know, and even if the network doesn’t pick it up, other networks might.
Infinity Train received a lot of attention. There was fan art, theories and even a petition to green light the show. The pilot currently has around 3.2 million views on YouTube, making it the most watched pilot on the channel. According to Dennis, the praise and attention the short received gave it the push it needed to be greenlit.
Other shorts that Cartoon Network aired also have been greenlit; Apple and Onion already started airing on CN, Victor and Valentino will be airing later this year, Summer Camp Island will air this summer and Twelve Forever got picked up by Netflix and will air in 2019.
Welcome to My Life still has not been greenlit, which is a huge disappointment to me. (But that’s an entire article of itself.)
Infinity Train, was my favorite of the bunch by a long shot. It’s the type of show the network needs, especially with Adventure Time ending.
The pilot features Tulip, an adolescent girl, who has gotten stuck on a never-ending train where each car holds a different environment and challenge. The only clue she has about the train’s true nature is the mysterious glowing number on her hand.
She is joined by One-One, a robot with a happy half (Glad One) and sad half (Sad One). The heroes enter a car holding the land of Corginia; a land of talking corgis ruled by the corgi king Atticus, which is plagued by a shadow monster.
That’s all I can say without spoiling anything. It should be experienced.
The eight-minute pilot sets up the entire plot of the series extremely well. The main conflict and mystery are set, and the world (or at least part of it) is introduced and character dynamics are established. It’s pretty much perfect.
It even introduces the train as a character itself. It’s unpredictable and doesn’t bend to the wills of reality or logic. It may not be sentient but it makes the perfect antagonist for Tulip.
She is a very logical child; she thinks in terms of math, probability, statistics and observation. These traits aren’t exaggerated. She isn’t a child genius or prodigy who can whip up inventions from nothing. Rather, she is more like the kid who skipped a grade or two and is the kind of person who when confronted with something irrational, looks for rationality. It’s nice to see a more grounded type of genius in cartoons.
One-One is kind of comic-relief but I absolutely adore them; Glad-One is a bit of an idiot but plays nicely with Sad-One’s Marvin the Paranoid Android-style personality. (He even sounds like Alan Rickman’s version of Marvin.) I bet they have a really interesting story, and the conflicting halfs could lead to some interesting developments.
But, it’s hard to beat Atticus. He is wise and calm, but is still…a dog. He likes getting his belly rubbed, can’t swim in deep water or open a door on his own. It’s a great juxtaposition. And he adds some much needed wisdom to the group.
While Tulip is the most developed of the three, it’s clear that the other characters have their own backstories and arcs that will eventually be explored. We have no idea where One-One comes from, and King Atticus could have an interesting backstory about his ascent to the throne.
The art style kind of reminds of Over the Garden Wall; Tulip is kind of noodley like Wirt, the backgrounds are pretty intricate, and the colors are saturated. It’s different from a lot of the other shows on the network currently, which use simple, round shapes and bright and pastel colors.
And a lot like Over the Garden Wall, this show has a world where anything can happen.
Nothing can be considered out of the ordinary. The train is a location that seems exist outside of time and space. It’s in its own little dimension.
My only worry is that the show will run out of ideas before it ends, and the show will run out of steam. But, luckily according to Dennis in this video, her arc has already been all planned out. So, we’ll just have to wait and see. It would also appear as though Tulip’s design has changed a bit, which is kind of sad because I love her design here but…that kind of stuff is to be expected.
There’s plenty of time to speculate and wonder. The teaser…didn’t really reveal any new information on the show. More trailers and teasers will drop, and we can speculate more then.
All the voice actors from the original short will be returning for the series; Ashley Johnson will be Tulip, Ernie Hudson is Atticus, Jeremy Crutchley will be Glad-One and Dennis himself will be Sad-One. Storyboard artists and writers include Justin Michael, Jessie Wong, Kellye Perdue, Sam Spina, Lindsay Katai, Ryan Pequin, and Sofi Alexander.
But, either way, it’s time to get HYPED. I watched this short like fifteen times, so I’ll definitely be keeping up with all the news regarding it and writing, reviewing and theorizing about it here. I can’t worry about the show being ruined yet, so now the only thing left to do is wait.
So, if you haven’t seen it. WATCH IT NOW AND GET ON THE HYPE TRAIN, MY FELLOW PASSENGERS.
And if you have… Let me know what you think.
That’s the scoop!
Pilot Rating: 10/10
-I had to. My only real criticism of this was that it was too short and there wasn’t more. So, enjoy my first perfectly rated cartoon