The animated cartoon Infinity Train is about Tulip’s journey of self-discovery. In her journey, she must set aside her own interests and make her way through a train that is nothing short of mysterious. She must work through puzzles in the train cars with a round robot sidekick with a dry sense of humor and two sides to himself, one called Gladbot and the other Sadbot. She has been stuck on the train for about a week and she is desperate to get off and return home. One of the doors leads her to King Atticus, a corgi, who is desperate to save his people. This is where Tulip must put her own needs aside to help someone in danger. It’s a great story that is filled with intrigue and grand possibilities if you walk the journey with Tulip.
The trailer starts off with a train blowing through the desert at high speed and it instantly makes you wonder, where is this train going and who is on it. That is when we are introduced to Tulip, a redheaded young girl with oversized glasses. She is rubbing her palm trying to remove what appears to be a glowing green tattoo of the number 53. She is unable to get the tattoo off and is puzzled as to why.
Tulip is the kind of character that you want your little girls watching because she is one smart cookie. She doesn’t accept her fate as it is, instead she does everything in her power to make things right. Those are the kind of values that we want to instill in our own children. There are lessons to be learned about patience and the strength to persevere.
“Sometimes you have to wait until something comes along and gives you the right push.”
There is plenty of humor throughout the cartoon to have you holding your sides in pain. I loved when Tulip and the Gladbot entered “the fart car” and ran out gagging. That’s surely the kind of humor that will have kids laughing because farts are just funny. Just ask the creator of The Whoopee Cushion.
Tulip goes from car to car looking for a way home, often being disappointed that her answer isn’t in the next car. That’s when she stumbles upon King Atticus and his land filled with corgis. The Corgi land is being attacked by a smoke monster and there is a threat that it will be ruined forever. Somehow the number 53 is connected to it all.
You will have a ball following along with the mysteries that unfold in the cartoon as you try to figure things out on your own. King Atticus enlists Tulip to hunt down the monster and help save his people. When they discovered that the monster is a robotic mask with hundreds of legs and laser beam eyes, they know they have their work cut out for them. As they are discovering the true origin of the monster, Tulip notices that the number on her hand has decreased to 49, she smiles and says, “I think I got my push.”
It’s a great show with a female protagonist and characters who all have their own goals. It’s a unique concept, a different one that we have never seen before. I think it’s the kind of show that we want our kids to be watching because the writing is smart and not condescending. You get to follow along in the show and discover the mysteries as they unfold for Tulip. The biggest mystery being what is the glowing number and what is it counting down to. It’s a great cartoon to tune in to find out who this mysterious creature is and why it is trying to destroy the land of the Corgis. You’re not going to want to miss this cartoon.
Have you ever wanted to make your own animated pilot? We got in touch with Owen Dennis the creator of Infinity Train to find out how he does it.
“I came up with the concept in 2010. I was on a plane back to the US from China. I had been sleeping and I awoke and looked around me. It was all dark except for a bunch of people staring at screens. I thought “Dang, if I didn’t know what this was, this would be terrifying” and that’s how I thought of the show. I like the classic sci-fi concept of waking up and having to discover where you are and what’s going on.”
“Here’s how we made the pilot”
“I showed one of the executives at CN a couple vague show ideas I had. Then she said to come back with a more detailed mini-bible describing the show.”
“I did that, I pitched it and some of the materials and possible pilot ideas. They liked it, so we moved on to the next stage!”
Making the storyboard
“I pitched a couple different possible pilot ideas, but focused on the one about corgis. They liked it, and commissioned me to make a premise for it. A premise is just a single page that lays out the basics of the plot.”
“They had some notes, but liked it again! So they commission me to make the outline. An outline is a more detailed version of the premise. It’s usually 2.5-3 pages.”
“They had some notes again, but liked again again! So they commissioned a thumbnail board (like a real loose storyboard) from me. I spent several weeks drawing it. I pitched it.”
“They had some notes, but approved me to make a final version of the board and pitch it to our CCO! Which I did!”
“They had some notes, but they liked it and approved it into being a pilot!”
“As you can see, the whole thing is basically a process of doing something, then taking notes, then doing something, then notes again. It goes like this forever until it suddenly doesn’t and they say they like it.”
“Then we build an animatic with scratch dialogue while my casting director finds the kinds of actors I’m looking for. This takes awhile to cut it down to time, and it difficult because you don’t know how fast the real actors will speak.”
“We try out a bunch of different actors that I liked.”
“We get the animatic approved and wait for notes. Then we record the actors!”
“Now we have to put all that dialogue back into the animatic and cut things again because the actors speak at different speeds.”
“While we wait for the animatic to be approved, we work on art! The art director (Nick Cross) takes some of the shots from the short and develops a style based on other art I show them. We do that for awhile until…”
Ship the animatic
“The animatic got approved by execs after taking their notes, the artwork is all done, the our timer had a chance to go over it, everything is good to go. We ship it to korea and start talking to…”
“I go over the animatic with my composer (Chrome Canyon) and he starts thinking of things that might work for the short.”
“Months later we get picture back from korea! They did great, but we have a few tweaks we need to make here and there. We make our notes and send them to them to redo a shot, or we see if we can time it differently on our end. We do this back and forth, hopefully not too many times, and eventually get to locked picture.”
“Chrome Canyon gives me the soundtrack he’s figured out. We go over some notes, we meet with the SFX people, and all of this comes together quite suddenly in like 3 weeks.”
“We go over all the sound in the final picture, make sure the credits are correct, and then bam! It’s done!”
“Then you just sit back and wait for however many months until it’s released on the internet and hopefully you get a greenlight!”