When Cartoon Network first announced Infinity Train back in June, we were already pretty much on board. After what we saw at SDCC, we can confirm, it's definitely a ride you won't want to end.
Infinity Train is from the wonderful mind of writer and artist Owen Dennis (Regular Show). The animated series is based on his widely popular 2016 animated-short about Tulip (Ashley Johnson). Tulip is a code-loving 12-year-old who happens to find herself on a train filled with well, everything. After much delay, the series is finally preparing for its release on August 5.
The crowd was HYPED to see and hear from the cast and crew of this bizarre and beloved show. Actors Ashley Johnson, Jeremy Crutchley (Glad-One), Ernie Hudson (Atticus), Madeline Queripel (supervising director), and Owen Dennis (series creator and voice of Sad-One) joined to tell us about this arcane train! The panel was moderated by Charles Pullman-Moore (Gizmodo).
The audience was treated to an exclusive look at the first episode entitled "Grid Car." We won't be giving away any spoilers but we can tell you the series delivers on its promise of heart, wonderful quirkiness, and wild puzzles The first episode also helps answer the question about Tulip's backstory and what she might learn about herself and family while onboard.
Fans were also treated to an exclusive SDCC trailer which you can see below, thanks to io9:
The panel began with a question to creator Owen Dennis about his inspiration for the series. Dennis credited the 1990s' video game Myst, Doctor Who, and our addiction to technology. The episode we saw definitely shows influences of video games use of logic puzzles and problem-solving. Dennis is one-part of the hilarious character known as One-One. One-One is a robot with two personalities one quite optimistic and one far more melancholy, think Marvin from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Although actress Ashley Johnson was a little late arriving on stage (she's been up for 24-hours) she didn't waste any time talking about what she loves about playing Tulip. "She's different. She's into weird and fun things but she's also kind of normal. I feel so lucky that I get to play her. The writing is so good, there have been a lot of themes we tackle in the show, but we've dealt with some pretty heavy stuff."
Tulip's well-equipped to tackle the possible threat the train possesses thanks to her stellar STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills. Her ability to problem-solve gives her the tools she needs to help the many inhabitants of the diverse train cars she comes across. In addition to the help Tulip gets from One-One she also gets help from King Atticus, a corgi, and monarch.
Atticus is the ruler of the land Corginia and he's also the voice of reason. Ernie Hudson talked about the role Atticus has in the trio. Hudson says he adds bravery and loyalty but reminded everyone he's still a dog!
While at first glance the show might appear as pure silliness (there's a fart car) and it's certainly not short on the laughs, but it has a deep emotional core. While the series creator says the show didn't directly mirror his life, the emotional beats of the show do represent feelings we've likely all felt. Madeline Queripel says she really enjoys the way Tulip learns how to deal with her emotions.
Here's another look at the trailer, which was released back in June:
One of the show's main antagonists is a character named Steward. The Steward is a many-tentacled creature who tries to keep everyone (and everything) in their designated train car. You can see where this would be a problem if one ever wanted to get off the train!
Infinity Train premieres in a special five-night event beginning Monday, August 5 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network.
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