Source: HBO Max
Cartoon Network has a track record of different series either being a either big hit with audiences or a massive miss. The problems commonly lie in a lack of creativity or just being out of place on the platform while better shows display exponential creativity and push the boundaries with what a show for kids can be. Then a show called Infinity Train, created by Owen Dennis, launched on Cartoon Network to give a full display of how lots of time and great effort can make for one beautifully bizarre cartoon. Full of original ideas, a sweet synthesized sound track, and amazing character writing, each season of Infinity Train displays a different adventure for different characters while also showing how the stories connect. While the third season in the anthology is an HBO Max exclusive and didn’t air on Cartoon Network, that shouldn’t mean that it needs to be counted out in the overall story. In fact, it should be viewed and given a chance by teens and parents alike.
To begin, the story that season three has to offer is one of the most intense and interesting stories to be seen in a kids show. The season mainly follows the leaders of a group who are known as the Apex, who feel that they know how to get the “full experience” from the train and believe in the idea that in a higher number means higher power. But the greed of raiding a car leads to both leaders with the highest numbers, Grace and Simon, getting separated from their group with the only way back being to go through each train car and do tasks. This leads to the pair going through the train correctly and in doing so, they both realize the true intentions of the train and about each other as people. Along the way, they meet an incredibly likable and mysterious girl named Hazel with her gorilla friend from a jungle car, Tuba. Not much can be further said without spoiling major details but intense drama, heart break, and mental challenges come across the four as they attempt to get back to the Apex car. My only critique of Grace and Simon is that writer Owen Dennis seemed to overstate how the audience needs to really hate the two in the opening episode, but this doesn’t stop the resolution and build up to it from feeling satisfying and earned.
One aspect that can add a lot to a film, TV show, or any kind of presentation is a well written and composed score and this season’s soundtrack certainly does not disappoint. The soundtrack for this entire series has lots of synthesizer keyboard sounds and while the setting doesn’t have an insanely cyberpunk theme, which is commonly where synthesizers show up, it works really well with story being told. Considering how incredibly versatile synthesizers can be when portraying a mood, the soundtrack sounded extremely complex while blending with the dramatic, mysterious, and exciting moments to make them even better. One example of this is during the final battle of season three, the score is incredibly intense while the audience is greatly wondering what the end result will be. Then, the villain gets the advantage over the hero and laughs while their number goes up and up, it was enough to give intense chills and really cement that moment in the audience’s mind. A man by the name of Chrome Canyon composed this beautiful score and really went above and beyond to really compliment the action seen on screen.
While this season did have its few plot holes of motivations not really being all that believable and episodes feeling a little rushed at times, this season is definitely by far the best season of this anthology. I did feel like this season also pushed a ton of boundaries with a PG rating and I do feel like if they tried to make it more pg-13 style, this show would’ve been even more appealing to me personally. With that said, there were themes, ideas, and images that really aren’t for kids which leads me to believe that this cartoon can perfectly suit the common teenage audience. Combine that with its teenage issues, interesting characters, and revelations that can apply to a lot of people, this cartoon can fall under the pure definition of cartoon fit for a more mature audience. Overall, even with its mistakes, Infinity Train season three is among the likes of Adventure Time and Regular Show to prove that Cartoon Network can really have some quality shows that aren’t JUST for kids.