|Created by||Owen Dennis|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution (seasons 1–2)|
WarnerMedia Direct (seasons 3–4)
|Original network||Cartoon Network (seasons 1–2)|
HBO Max (seasons 3–4)
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Audio format||Dolby Surround|
|Original release||August 5, 2019 –|
April 15, 2021
Infinity Train is an American animated television series created by Owen Dennis, previously a writer and storyboard artist on Regular Show. 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. 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, and the fourth season was released in its entirety on April 15, 2021.
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. Promotional material for the fourth season refers to it as the final season of Infinity Train. In August 2022, the series was removed from HBO Max, with all references to the show removed across Cartoon Network's Twitter and YouTube profiles, with Dennis subsequently stating on Twitter that fans would have to resort to online piracy in order to watch the series.
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, known as 'The Apex', 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.
Main article: List of Infinity Train episodes
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|Pilot||November 2, 2016[a]||YouTube|
|1||The Perennial Child||10||August 5, 2019||August 9, 2019||Cartoon Network|
|Shorts||The Train Documentaries||10||October 19, 2019||November 16, 2019||YouTube|
|2||Cracked Reflection||10||January 6, 2020||January 10, 2020||Cartoon Network|
|3||Cult of the Conductor||10||August 13, 2020||August 27, 2020||HBO Max|
|4||Duet||10||April 15, 2021|
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".
|Book 1||Book 2||Book 3||Book 4|
|Tulip Olsen||Ashley Johnson||Main||Mentioned||Does not appear|
|Lake / "MT" (Mirror Tulip)||Guest||Main||Does not appearPictured||Does not appear|
|One-One / One||Glad-One||Jeremy Crutchley||Main||Recurring||Mentioned||Does not appear|
|Atticus||Ernie Hudson||Main||Mentioned||Does not appear|
|Jesse Cosay||Robbie Daymond||Does not appear||Main||Mentioned||Does not appear|
|Alan Dracula||Silent character||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear||Guest[b]|
|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|
|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|
|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||Silent character||Does not appear||Recurring|
|Morgan||Margaret Cho||Does not appear||Recurring|
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.
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." 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. A petition to greenlight Infinity Train was made shortly after the pilot was released and garnered over 57,000 signatures. 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.
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. 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. On July 11, 2019, the show was confirmed to premiere on August 5, 2019. 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. The first season would be 10 episodes long, with two episodes airing each night from August 5 to August 9, 2019.
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. 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. Book Two debuted on January 6, 2020.
On July 6, 2020, Book 3 was officially announced with a release date of August 13, 2020. 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. It was later revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that the book would be titled Cult of the Conductor. 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.
On February 17, 2021, Book 4 was officially announced with a teaser trailer containing distorted audio.
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.
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." 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.
Dennis expressed interest in doing Infinity Train comic books that "are in canon and could be written by or starring non-Americans." 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.
On March 11, 2021, it was announced that Infinity Train would end with its fourth season. 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.
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." Dennis also claimed that books 5, 6, 7, and 8 would have covered the themes of grief, guilt, revenge, and acceptance, respectively, and Book 8 would have touched on Alzheimer's disease. Dennis and series writer Lindsay Katai stated that there were also plans for an Infinity Train Christmas special.
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.
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.
|Infinity Train: Book 1 (Original Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by |
Infinity Train [feat. Chrome Canyon]
|Released||December 6, 2019|
|Producer||Chrome Canyon & Owen Dennis|
|Infinity Train [feat. Chrome Canyon] chronology|
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)". On April 15, 2021, the song "Train to Nowhere" from Book 4 was released as a single.
Infinity Train: Book One was released on DVD on April 21, 2020. It includes animatics, commentary tracks, and The Train Documentaries shorts. Infinity Train: Book Two was released on DVD on May 25, 2021.
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 and the other three from 6 each.
Caroline Cao of /Film declared it a "wild triumph", while Nerdist's Andrea Towers declared it "one of the best animated programs of the year." 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." 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." 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.
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." 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. 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.'" 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." 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."
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." 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.
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. 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.
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. In December 2020, Observer Media reported that Infinity Train was the fourth most-watched original series on HBO Max since its launch in May.
Infinity Train: The Perennial Child was nominated in 2020 at the 47th Annie Awards in the category Best Special Production.
It’s a kids’ mystery-horror-comedy-science-fiction show,” Dennis told The Times.
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"
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!
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!
5) Grief 6) Guilt 7) Revenge 8) Acceptance– oweeeeendennis---------The man himself!
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!