If you like animated series, It is undeniable that we are living a very sweet moment, with a streak that spans over a decade of undeniably quality and incredibly varied series. From the lysergic adventures of ‘Adventure Time’ to the crazy universes of J.G. Quintel (creator of ‘Ordinary Stories’ and ‘Close Enough’), from the multitarget mastery of ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’ to the wild talent of ‘Primal’.
All different, all wonderful in their own way. And in the vast catalog of Cartoon Network shines with its own and particular lightInfinity Train‘. Or she was glowing (we’ll get to that).
The train to nowhere and all at once
Owen Dennis, the creator of the series, cites as inspiration for the series an experience he had traveling by plane, in which he woke up with the cabin in the dark and a lot of people watching the little screens in the seats. It is not strange that, also in his words, one of the engines that moves the series and its particular and successful gloomy tone, is fear.
Because Owen, like I imagine a few of you who are reading this, grew up in a time when shows didn’t seem as age-targeted: You could tune into the TV at 10 in the morning and find yourself from ‘My little pony’ in its most cheesy version, to ‘The Mutant League’ and witness in its very intro how a man’s skin melts.
It is not an exclusive issue of permissiveness: it is that, over the years, the target children and youth has been refined with the explosion of new platforms for audiovisual works, leaving those intermediate zones between levels of maturity abandoned. We also didn’t have much variety on offer (except if you had a satellite or something like that) and the most impressive scenes from ‘Batman’, for example, stood out greatly.
Either way, Dennis wants the child viewer to feel fear and that the stakes, for his protagonists, feel high. And he does not want a progressive descent into darkness, very present in some of the fictions since the 2000s and that has to do with that segmentation mentioned before, which forces viewers to get used to the stories as they mature: think of ‘Harry Potter ‘, in ‘Adventure Time’, in ‘Stories’; laughter gives way to crying and gnashing of teeth.
Dennis isn’t afraid of his viewers being scared, because he sees it as an opportunity for tutors to show young viewers that it’s okay for them to be sorry, and that suffering it in front of the TV is the safest way to do it. For this reason, already in the first bars of ‘Infinity Train’ we have some violent mutant cockroaches.
Where the hell are we?
tulip is a 13-year-old girl who is a fan of video game programming. She has a fun summer ahead of her at coding camp, but she has a problem that affects her in many different ways: her parents are divorcing. His mother works a lot and she seems to have pulled herself together, but his father is a mess.
When he runs out of camp, he decides to run away and get on the first train that passes in case he is lucky and ends up at his dream destination, but he does not suspect that he has gotten on something much more special: the Infinite Train, a machine that crosses a hostile dimension and with thousands of wagons, each with a different environment and rules.
Not only that: he discovers that, when he gets on the train, he has a marker on his arm with a number. Will he be able to escape the train? What does the number mean? What mysteries await him on his way to freedom? The series, in 10 chapters of 11 minutes each, covers this and much, much more..
Always on the tracks
There are plenty of moments where ‘Infinity Train’ could have gone off the rails. For example, It is very juicy that each wagon is a different worldbut it could also have been a distraction or, if it had had more chapters, an excuse to dizzy the partridge and underline Tulip’s emotional state without any dramatic value.
I mean, shortly after starting he is accompanied by a spherical robot that is divided into an optimistic and a negative part called One-One, a talking corgi named Atticus (who is the king of the Corgi wagon) and he has been seen with a cat thief. Nothing prevented them from accepting more chapters and embracing that picturesque status quo with Tulip.but the writers preferred to stay on the path.
And boy does it pay off. The very tight duration of the chapters, and of the season in general, keep the themes well focused. There is a plan in place that is to have several seasons, so it is not necessary to answer all the questions. I found that nice balance between satiety and the appetite to see more.
I went to the Infinity Train
For those who subscribe to this, the greatest quality of ‘Infinity Train’ is that of presenting complex emotions in an insulting way easy and encode them within their universe.
This series has one of the most accurate, courageous and devastating representations of nostalgia, from the cursed mania of our memory to turn mediocre moments into happy ones, or to make it easier for us to open an abyss between our past and our present. Because nostalgia makes you remember all the good things about yesterday without any of its drawbacks and is, in the long run, a memory trap.
In the same way, both younger viewers, and those of us who have completely passed on the absolutely false mantra that drawings are for children, they’ll see just as competent portrayals of grieving, self-discovery, or that seasickness after landing on a hostile world without an instruction manual.. What, said in current journalistic language, is “adulting”, the new fashion of suffering new and chilling expectations.
Where has the train gone?
Unfortunately, such a superlative series that has left me wanting to see the rest of the seasons can no longer be seen. Contrary to what happened to me with ‘Deviant’, whose rights are a ping pong ball between multinationals, ‘Infinity Train’ is a series of cartoon Networka channel of Warner Bros.
Until recently, it was on HBO Max of course, and everything suggested that after the first season, subscribers could see the other three. Not anymore.
‘Infinity Train’ has one of the most accurate, courageous and devastating representations of nostalgia.
The merger of Warner and Discovery has led to an unprecedented scenario in audiovisual history: To save money, Warner has decided that it is more profitable to hide the series, to the point of withdrawing the physical copies and even tweets that mentioned it, for one of those fiscal engineering issues that amaze and disgust in equal parts. It is another edge of those financial tricks that make the Harry Potter movies unprofitable, but we are all the losers.
Creators lose interest and motivation to continue if they know that their efforts are going to hide in a safe, in an era where culture could (should!) be easily accessible. And even easier to preserve.
And you, and any spectator, misses the opportunity to peek into an artistic work that should be exhibitednot only for its own artistic value (which we have already agreed that it has), but simply for being that, a work of art intended for consumption.
At the moment, it is easier for you to go out and find yourself the Infinite Train of the series, than to enter HBO Max in the near future and have all four seasons there. There are other methods that we will never recommend from Espinof (although Owen Dennis, with all the regret in the world, does), but The sad thing is that someone, at some point, decided that they made more money deleting a series than charging their users. so they could see it.
He said that ‘Infinity Train’ has one of the best representations of nostalgia. Now that I’ve seen her and she’s gone, I can assure you that I miss her, but by no means nostalgia tarnishes my glasses. You have to see it. Hopefully you can do it soon and hopefully those four seasons come out.