True Tail is a forthcoming Web series project, directed by Zachary Rich, the same guy who directed Double Rainboom. It's been through two incarnations, and this page covers them both.
The first/old version
On the surface, the original True Tail looks like a story of how a young orphan cat (Caleb Truetail) teams up with a hulking brute bear knight (Brutus Ironclaw), an old phoenix wizard (Kanikus), a half-dragon half-sheep priestess (Doh-Li), a thief fox (Viktor) and a Cute But Psycho rabbit bard (Melody Briar) to fight an evil bird wizard, or in other words, Dungeons & Dragons... with animals. However, it takes place in the fantastical medieval world of Splitpaw, a land inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. Fortune and adventure await those that are willing to claim it! But there is a darkness festering within the land, casting a shadow over any would-be heroes.
True Tail follows the adventures of Caleb Truetail, an orphaned kitten looking for a family, who finds one in the most unlikely of places: a group of mercenaries. Accustomed to working alone, and willing to sell their services to the highest bidder, these mercenaries find themselves being forced to team up in order to obtain an artifact for an evil cockatrice. Will this group of rowdy "heroes" overcome their flaws and work together, or will they succumb to the treacherous plans of Eldritch the Necromancer?
Since its announcement on August 2013, True Tail grew a reasonable fanbase, and progress on the series resumed after a very long hiatus started August 2014 and ended 29 March 2015. The pilot was scheduled to be completed in 2016, but was delayed by the creators' efforts to sell the show to a network. However, in May 2015 the creators posted an animatic of the episode... which is likely as far as it will ever get.
The second/new version
On July 1, 2017, Skynamic announced that after a series of unsuccessful meetings with Nickelodeon, they had reworked the show in an effort to make it more network-friendly. (Other changes included giving several characters new surnames and recasting most of the voice actors from the unfinished pilot.) The revised premise centers on True Tail, a school for prospective heroes. Caleb Lightpaw and Melody Briar are students, along with younger versions of Doh-Li Ling and Viktor Silvertod; the faculty includes Brutus Ironclaw and Kanikus; and several new characters, both pupils and teachers, are introduced. (The creators have said that this version might be a Prequel to the original.) Therefore, this page is now divided into two sections: one for the old version, and one for the new one.
The Website for Skynamic Studios, the studio that makes True Tail, is found here.
In June 2019, the creators launched a Kickstarter campaign for the series with a goal of $25,000. The campaign successfully concluded on 21 August 2019, ultimately raising $59,500 — more than twice enough to fund a 9-11 minute pilot for the series.
The creators will soon launch a Patreon account to further fund the series.
Now has a character page in need of construction.
True Tail tropes:
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The entire cast, with a few exceptions. Brutus doesn't wear pants, while Viktor and Garth wear Judy Hopps-style toeless spats.
- Barrier Warrior: Doh-Li can create magical force fields to protect the team.
- Bears Are Bad News: Subverted with Brutus Ironclaw the Knight, since he's one the heroes.
- Big Bad: Eldritch. In the original version, he's an Evil Sorcerer and Necromancer. In the new version, he's both "the master of detention" and "the ruler of the dark mythical creatures of Splitpaw", and he wants to destroy True Tail so he won't have to worry about heroes anymore.
- The Casanova: Viktor is Mr. Suave ladies man..er... fox.
- Cute Kitten: Caleb is just the cutest!
- Didn't Think This Through: When asked what is the cause of the bandage on Caleb's tail and the hole in his ear, the True Tail team responded with "Caleb is a furry bundle of bravery, but sometimes things don't always go the way he plans."
- Ear Notch: Caleb has one. So far, how he got it hasn't been explained.
- Feather Fingers: Played straight with Kanikus and Harper, but averted with Eldritch who (from what we've seen) mostly uses his talons as hands.
- Functional Magic: Doh-Li brews potions, and seems to have Barrier Warrior powers.
- Funny Animal: The entire cast.
- Genki Girl/Perpetual Smiler/Rascally Rabbit: The lovably mischievous, eternally bubbly Melody Briar.
- High Fantasy: Legendary heroes are common in both versions. The new show takes place at a school that trains the next generation of them.
- Pun-Based Title
- Righteous Rabbit: Despite her eccentricities, Melody is one of the heroes.
- Third-Person Person: Viktor switches in and out of this depending on his mood.
- World of Funny Animals: Splitpaw, the setting.
- White Bunny: Melody is one.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Kanikus a Turkey, you'll be sorry!
- Black Cloak: Eldritch the Necromancer, the Big Bad of the series.
- Cool Sword: Caleb and Viktor both have them.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Viktor the Thief. If you don't believe it, just ask him yourself.
- Dem Bones: Eldritch's choice for his army.
- Disney Death: The pilot ends with one. Caleb seems to be swept over a cliff, but he survives by holding onto the tapestry.
- The Empire: The Ursa Empire, where Brutus is from. From what Kanikus says, it's not looked favorably upon by the other races of Splitpaw.
- Evil Mentor: Eldritch is this to Doh-Li.
- Fantastic Foxes: Viktor the Thief is a fox.
- Fireballs: One of Kanikus' standard weapons during combat.
- Functional Magic: Only magical creatures like phoenixes and Kirin (Doh-li's race) can cast spells.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Brutus.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Melody's reason for leaving home. She comes from a very large family, and she wants to participate in a great adventure to distinguish herself from her siblings.
- Immortal Life Is Cheap: When Viktor drops a load of crystals on top of Kanikus, he revives in a burst of fire and is angrier at Viktor calling him "turkey" than the potentially fatal accident.
- Killer Rabbit: Melody the Bard. She has ninja weapons, particularly a knife collection that she apparently keeps in Hammerspace.
- Last of His Kind: Or her kind. Doh-Li is the only Kirin remaining.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the pilot, Kanikus mentions he wrote the history of the Gryphon's Palace, then turns to the camera and says it was terrible.
- Mineral MacGuffin: The pilot has the heroes seeking a magical stone that serves as an atlas of Splitpaw.
- Montage: Melody provides musical accompaniment to one as the group attempts to find its way through the Griffin's Labyrinth.
- Overly Long Name: Viktor's full name is Viktor Silvertod Gravelson Pobedonosny Pobeda Privyet the 75th!
- The Phoenix: Kanikus is a Phoenix Wizard.
- Parental Substitute: Brutus has become sort of a Papa Wolf to Caleb.
- Perpetual Frowner: Doh-Li and Kanikus.
- Ship Tease: Viktor and Doh-Li look really cozy on the left side of this picture.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Viktor's video has him boasting about various amazing and incredible deeds, then shows he's in the stocks getting tomatoes chucked at him.
- Team Mom: Doh-Li feels more like a babysitter than she does a leader.
- Two Girls to a Team: On this team, Doh-Li and Melody are the only two female animals.
- Walking the Earth: The heroes' quest takes them to various Adventure Towns across Splitpaw. Word of God says that this is one of the factors that doomed the original version, since creating a different world for each episode would be expensive, while the school setting can be reused over and over.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Viktor sounds he's Russian, Spanish and British, all at the same time!
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Kanikus' burden of being an immortal phoenix.
- Alpha Bitch: Heavily downplayed with Harper Finch. She's all about her good looks, but is unquestionably one of the heroes.
- Badass Teacher: The teachers at True Tail teach at a Hero Academy, so it's no surprise that all of them are veterans that can kick ass when necessary.
- Bird People: Harper the mockingbird, though she's not as humanoid as some examples.
- Draconic Humanoid: Atticus.
- Furry Confusion: Lyra Wolfsbane is a werewolf, in a World of Funny Animals. Apparently how that works is that her "human" form is the purple anthro wolf seen on the website's cast page, and her "wolf" form is something more beastly, as seen here.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: Along with our four main characters of Caleb, Melody, Viktor, and Doh-Li, a gender-equal ensemble themselves, this version adds two girls and two boys to the cast roster: Garth, Harper, Dylan, and Ami.
- Hero Academy: The focus of the new version.
- Lighter and Softer: Than the original version, although some dark elements remain. From the Skynamic website:Though our original story was good, and we loved mixing our simplistic shape-based art with a mature story line, we found it nearly impossible to pitch this concept to any animation studio. With this new version we have a more lighthearted tone that gives us the chance to bring humor and energy into the series. We are still making an action adventure show, but it will just be a little less serious.
- Magic Music: Melody "sings magical songs to empower even the weakest of heroes."
- Mind-Control Music: Lyra's song.
- Our Minotaurs Are Different: Boris Tauris, though he's said to be rather agreeable when not in combat.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Lyra has the power of Mind-Control Music.
- Precious Puppy: Garth Bravebark.
- Tomboy: Ami is a tanuki who dresses like Robin Hood and "can take down any boy that gets in her way."