Owen Dennis, photo by Jeremy Freeman
Owen Dennis, photo by Jeremy Freeman

Infinity Train, an animated series created by Owen Dennis ’09 with Madeline Queripel ’10 serving as the supervising director, made waves this past summer with its five-night premiere event on Cartoon Network. With season two just around the corner—the season premiere is January 6—Dennis sat down with the Star Tribune to chat about the references to Minnesota he has sprinkled throughout the show.

Some of these nods include the main character hailing from North Branch, a run-in with the infamous North St. Paul snowman, and an homage to Erik the Bike Man commercials. As a Minnesota native himself, Dennis finds that these callbacks to his childhood make the characters believable, even when they are on extraordinary adventures such as running away from giant dragonflies or befriending turtles. "When you write about what you know, it starts to become more truthful,” says Dennis. “The Mighty Ducks is supposed to take place in the Twin Cities, but the kids have these Brooklyn accents and there’s a montage that has them skating from one end of the metro to another, which isn’t possible. When you do that, you end up with a disconnect.”

Queripel, also from Minnesota, says that Dennis was "adamant that the Midwest be represented in the show." "[He] really wanted to show off the region and make sure it’s very accurate,” she said. “I’m really pleased with the online response. People say it looks exactly like the Midwest.”

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