We Just Wanna Play Toono! - Behind The Scenes

Posted on by The Corporate Clash Crew


After nearly 9 months of production, the ambitious “We Just Wanna Play Toono” (a fully animated parody of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno, a song from Disney’s Encanto) premiered last week, accomplishing a truly exceptional feat for the community at large, bringing together artists, writers, singers, musicians, and more to celebrate Toontown: Corporate Clash and the fan-favorite table game, Toono. The purpose of today’s blogpost is to highlight further just some of the immeasurable amount of work that goes into bringing a production like this to life, and the significance of it on the Toontown community.

Click HERE to be taken directly to the Youtube channel of one of our Partners, Stuck The Duck, where you can check out the animation in full! 

Stuck The Duck / Tucker - Creative Director

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello, Corporate Clash Community! Many call me Stuck, but I’m more formally known as Tucker, and the best way I could describe myself would be ambitious, intense, and resilient. Despite the fact that I’ve been a content creator for over ten years, my name only surfaced in the Toontown community semi-recently when I started making Toontown content in 2020. As many know, our community has stood the test of time, as well as its legacy creators who have been leaders in the community far longer than I’ve been around. I, in many ways, was very late to the party. But somehow, in the span of a year, I went from unedited boss solo uploads, to making high-quality Toontown productions aided through my long term experience as a creator, as well as my training at a professional film school (and perhaps also my hard-to-ignore personality, which often serves as both a blessing and a curse). But even through my growth to becoming an established Toontown creator, never did I anticipate one day being the creative director of a fully animated music video. 

“Creative Director” 

…What does that mean exactly? Well, essentially every single decision - every movement, transition, color, theme, and emotion, are all by design. I myself have no talent in illustration, not to mention animation, but I do have a knack for storytelling and character direction. So my role for “We Just Wanna Play Toono” was to conceptualize and design every shot, and then communicate it to my Animation Director, Henry Reynolds, who would then guide the Animation Team to turn my vision into tangible art.

How did this project first come to life?

I watched Disney’s Encanto (2021) for the first time in February of this year. It did not take long for me to start obsessing over the catchiest song within the film “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”. While I never had made a Toontown parody prior to this year, I always had a desire to one day pull it off. But I had to make sure it would be just right. My biggest habit as a creator is that I only want to do something if it’s going to make a statement. I don’t enjoy creating something mediocre, I have to go all the way. And it didn’t take long for me to start playing around with how I could transform Disney’s masterful ballad into something… for lack of a better word, “Toontastic.” 

But who? We don’t talk about… who? Who within the Toontown world is interesting enough to justify writing a song about? It wasn’t easy to narrow this down, as most Toontown characters aren’t exactly flushed out beyond their flat personalities and by-the-book puns. After considering “We Don’t Talk About Flippy” for less than ten seconds, I was pretty certain that this parody would require thinking outside the box. And luckily I wasn’t the one who had to do said thinking outside of said box. The TOONO premise can only be credited to DuckingtonFinch, a seasoned Toontown creator and parody songwriter. I remember seeing a tweet on his timeline saying: “we don’t talk about toono”. Perfection. The title rhyme was a slam dunk. You can’t forgo ending the final word with “no” because you’d lose the signature “No no no!” that follows. 

The Tweet that started it all…

I immediately reached out to Finch with a request to collaborate on this together. By that point, he had already written out a first draft of some of the lyrics found within our final music video. And he presented me with a title that thought so outside the box that my entire concept of reality twisted inside out (okay not really). He called it, “We Just Wanna Play Toono”. And that title alone showed me that there’s so much you can do in the world of parody. And it also made me realize that we had to make this the best Toontown parody ever made. Remember what I said about my biggest habit as a creator, how I need to make a statement, and that I have to go all the way? For this, that took the form of my first pitch to DuckingtonFinch: I want to make a fully 2D-animated music video. 

For a project such as this, why was it important to bring together such a large team? Was it always going to be this large from the start or was it the type of deal where things expanded as things progressed? 

A large team was a necessity for this project purely by its nature. The original song features countless singers, so we were (aoogah) immediately put to task with sending out tryouts to vocalists within the Toontown community. I also wanted original instrumentation (all out, baby) which added another person needed to be hired. Then there came the most demanding aspect of the project, the animation work.

I immediately knew I’d have to reach out to a friend I met back in high school, Henry Reynolds, a freelance animator and filmmaker. The stars aligned in such a way that he had nothing going on during the period we’d be working together, and after explaining the premise, he was on board. He informed me that we would need an animation team, as it would take significantly more time for him to animate a four minute music video on his own.

 It was clear from the very beginning that a large team was in order, and to pat myself on the back, I had an entire team together and ready to go within the same February of me first watching Encanto (wild, right?). 

The thumbnail that would go on to be used for the completed video!

How much work overall went into the project?

We had the team leads together in a private discord server as of February 24th, 2022, exactly nine months before release. Animation production began in early March, and my initial goal date was… May of 2022. Isn’t that funny to look back on? I clearly underestimated the time required to create something like this, which is a good lesson learned for future projects. A big reason for that miscalculation is that I was initially unaware that Henry’s vision for the animation style was to emulate a rubber-hose style commonly associated with the early 20th century. I was extremely grateful that he wanted to animate this so thoroughly, but that of course came with a hearty temporal, as well as financial cost. While I won’t disclose the exact budget that went into this project, I definitely had to pick up some extra hours at my retail job in order to afford production/commission costs alongside my typical expenses. My teammates outside of the art team were all volunteer participants, and I cannot thank them enough for the quality and dedication of their work despite being in that position. 

What was your favorite part of the development process?

Aside from creating concept sketches and visual references for the animation team, I found myself wanting to communicate the actions of each character in a more thorough manner. As Imentioned before, every single decision was by design, and that even includes the smallest details, such as where a character’s eyes move, or which direction they turn as they interact with a deck of TOONO cards. I needed a concrete way to communicate each of these subtleties, so I operated through my strengths - I became an animated character myself. 

Because Henry and I mostly worked remotely, I couldn’t demonstrate the character acting in person. So I created what I internally dubbed “We Just Wanna Play Toono - Live Action”. And whatever you picture upon hearing that title is exactly what transpired. I would film myself acting out every shot within a scene, expressing and moving exactly how I wanted each character to animate. It was an arduous process at times, but it was also loads of fun. 

As the leader of the team, I also had to be the leader of morale, and the difficulty of maintaining the morale of nearly a dozen individuals cannot be overstated. I’m someone who has a high level of neuroticism (typical of us folks in the creative fields) so I’m naturally prone to a lot of stress and anxiety. But the hardest thing about being a leader is that you cannot let your own feelings get in the way of anything. When you are guiding a team to pursue a goal, and the only way to achieve said goal is by making sure every part of the machine is monitored and cared for, it is of utmost importance to prioritize the feelings and well being of your teammates over your own temporary emotions. And that comes with a lot of strife and sacrifice.

 It was very difficult to sustain this over a nine month period, especially due to me entering my senior year in college, not to mention all of the drama and uncertainty that comes with being a young adult. There’s a reason that productions of this caliber are such a rarity within small communities such as our own - creative leadership is not for the faint of heart. But despite the difficulty of leading this
production, I’m proud that the effort has paid off tenfold. It is my hope that from the perspective of my team, that I made their experience working on this project a pleasant one. 

What sort of impact would you say this project has had?

When it comes to the community, I hope this inspires people to continue pushing the envelope when it comes to Toontown content. The Corporate Clash Crew appeared in the Special Thanks category of “We Just Wanna Play Toono” not only because of their generous promo pushes for the animation, but also because they are this community’s prime example of pushing the envelope. I was so certain that nothing would ever be able to top the hype and enjoyment of the v1.2.0 update. But I remember, as I was watching the trailer for the recent Hires & Heroes update, I was truly flabbergasted and blown away by what the team has been able to provide us Toontown fans. Returning to the context of the animation, I was driven to achieve the “impossible” with this project because I felt that the Corporate Clash Crew also achieves the impossible with each of their major updates. 

I wanted to prove to myself that I could make something that could be classified as “legendary”, and I was very fulfilled when the community response validated that my hopes had come to a reality. It is my hope that “We Just Wanna Play Toono” will inspire creative people within this community to create legendary works of art of their own. 

Would you do something like this again? Why or why not? 

Haha, just kidding. Answering this question doesn’t boil down to a simple yes or no, as my answer consists as a mix of both. If the question was instead “hey we just gave you a huge budget, wanna make another animated toontown parody?” then the answer would be a resounding yes. I absolutely adored directing this project and cannot wait to do more creative directing, writing, and producing of all sorts of high quality content. But realistically speaking, I want to keep people’s expectations in check and assert that “We Just Wanna Play Toono” isn’t going to have a sequel, followup, or successor. I have no plans to create another animated music video, mostly because of the financial burden required by a project of this caliber. 

But I also don’t want to neglect the second reason why I’m not looking to do this again anytime soon: I want to continue to branch out and spread my wings. I’m capable of so many different things when it comes to creating content, and I don’t want to limit myself to just one format. While “We Just Wanna Play Toono” is definitely my proudest creation, I’m eager to engage with media and pursue feats that I have yet to achieve, rather than doing the same thing again. Rest assured, I am committed to making awesome and impressive art. You’ll just have to wait to see what that’ll end up being.


Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi! My name is Henry Reynolds. I am a writer, storyboard artist,
and traditional 2D animator. Most recently, I was the Animation
Director for the parody music video “We Just Wanna Play Toono”,
based on the hit song from Disney’s Encanto: “We Don’t Talk
About Bruno”.

You can visit Henry’s website by clicking HERE 

When were you first brought onto the project? Was it immediately clear your skills were needed for the position that you were about to fill?
I was reached out to by the project’s Creative Director, Tucker (StucktheDuck)in mid-February, 2022. Tucker knew he wanted to make an animated music video and, as unremarkable as it might sound, I was one of the only people he knew who could animate(haha). 

At the time, I didn’t know a whole lot about Toontown
nor Corporate Clash, and most of the character animation I had done previously dealt with human characters. These “Toons” I was gonna have to draw for the next few months didn’t have flesh... or hair! I wouldn’t blame Tucker if I found out he was a little skeptical at first.

How many people including yourself were on the animation team?

There were four of us: myself, AstralLizzy, WilliamShakespaw, and Teshie F. Lizzy, William and Teshie all helped me with rough animation. They would take the animatics I would make for them, and interpolate movement based on my drawings and timings. 

After they sent me their roughs, I would do another animation pass or two, making any corrections, filling in the line and colors, and
animating some effects and lighting. Without the animation
team’s hard work, I don’t think we would have made the deadline!

Why is it important to have an Animation Director on a project such as this?

The Animation Director’s job is to make sure the visual quality of the project stays consistent. Every artist has their own style or way of doing things. When there is a team of artists working on the same project, it can result in a lot of different artistic backgrounds converging, and it might turn into a total mess! A good Animation Director must go in with a vision, stick to it, inspire their team to do the same, and assure them that
they’ll have their backs while doing it.

What was your favorite part of working on the overall project?

Hm... I’m a big fan of the rough animation process. I like determining key poses, then creating the in-between animation to make the frames look like they’re moving. I like the rough pass
specifically because it’s a lot looser. I can make mistakes and play here! As far as stories go, I’m afraid the majority of the
time spent is hunched over a desk for hours a day, which isn’t
all that interesting.
Any challenges along the way?
This is a hard one. I can’t decide between making the
backgrounds, or doing the lineart. On one hand, the backgrounds
don’t take very long, but the process is boring, especially the animating ones. On the other hand, lineart takes a loooong time (think of it like tracing the roughs), which isn’t very engaging, but it feels good to see it when it’s all done. I
actually wrecked the thumb on my drawing hand once, which meant doing lineart was even worse for a while. Especially since the wound kept reopening from the work!

Rough sketches at work!

What impact would you say this project has had?

I am a freelancer, or an artist for hire, if you prefer. I think it’s fun to think about it as mercenary work! Most of the jobs I’ve had in the past have been solo, with vague references made
to me about being part of some ethereal, larger team. Otherwise, I’ve been a single animator/board artist answering directly to a project’s director. This time around, I got to direct an animation team. I was definitely worried about it at first, but
I think it turned out better than I expected. This is no-doubt because of the team’s members themselves, who were super patient with me and always willing to learn. I think everyone’s better
from the experience. As far as the Toon Town: Corporate Clash community goes, I’ve seen a ton of people very excited about the result of the team’s labors. I think it’s going to help bring
the community closer, and hopefully act as a source of inspiration for other artists both inside and, with any luck,
outside of the community, too!

Would you do something like this again? Why or why not?

For sure! This is kinda what I do for work, so saying “no” might seem counterproductive. I’m always looking for the next thing, and whether it’s another Animation Director gig or a solo project, I’m all for it. Experience is experience, after all!

DuckingtonFinch - Lead Writer

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’ve been a Toontown enthusiast since I first played in 2003, and over the last 2 years, I’ve really involved myself within the broader community and channeled a lot of my passion into a wide variety of strange and silly Toontown-related videos and streams. You can find me on YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok under the same username: DuckingtonFinch

When were you first brought onto the project? Was it immediately clear your skills were needed for the position that you were about to fill?

My initial introduction to the “Bruno” song from Encanto came about during one of my Twitch streams where I mentioned that I had never seen the movie. As per usual, viewers in my chat started teasing and bullying me by repeating really strange stories about someone named Bruno (unbeknownst to me, they were all lyrics from the song). At the time, I thought maybe they were referring to a player or a Cog named “Bruno” in Corporate Clash. I didn’t realize what happened in the stream until I finally watched the movie a few days later. And that’s when I tweeted “we dont talk about toono” on January 25th 2022.

Hey look! It’s that image again!

I couldn’t wait to finally respond to Sheriff Cranky’s reply to my original tweet:

Indeed it was…

The original song is an earworm, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I found one of those 10-hour song uploads on YouTube, and I listened to the entire thing. I wrote down a bunch of preliminary lyrics, most of which made it into our final version. I knew that doing a full parody would be a big task, especially if it involved more people than just myself to sing it, so I put it on the back burner.

Almost a month later, Tucker reached out to me mentioning that he remembered my Toono tweet, and asked if I was working on a parody of the Bruno song. After some initial discussion, the project just blossomed from there and things started moving really quickly!

I’m really not a writer or lyricist, but I love making Toontown parodies. There’s something about the quirkiness of Toontown that lends itself really well to creating a parody about the game with almost any song, no matter how good or bad your lyrics end up being, it’s still silly - which is perfect for Toontown. People know me from my other Toontown parodies, and since I had already written some early lyrics for “Toono”, I think my role just naturally fell into place from there.

Why is it important to have a Lead Writer on a project such as this?

Tucker’s vision for this project was really ambitious, and there was no way one person could do everything. Delegating responsibilities across the project was definitely key to getting this done within a reasonable timeline. While I was the “Lead Writer” for Toono, Tucker also wrote a good portion of the lyrics toward the end. But both of us had our eyes on everything, and we wrote revisions together.

-What was your favorite part of the process, and are there any fun backstage stories to delve into?

I had such a blast writing lyrics and laughing with Tucker about tricky ways to pull off some of the rhymes. That was a really fun and creative experience.

Grammar quiz! Which one is incorrect?: 

1. “Your time is yield when you log out or you’re banned”
2. “Your time will yield when you log out or you’re banned”

Because we had a debate about it, and uh… the “incorrect” one made it into the final lyrics because we thought it sounded better. Deal with it.

I was fortunate to have some of my friends in the Toontown community join the project as singers. I got to hear some of the auditions, and it was amazing to see how perfectly people fit their roles!

I’ve always wanted to collaborate on a song with Toria, as she was my inspiration to start creating my Toontown parodies. Fortunately, our characters sing a duet in Toono, and I remember having that “eureka!” moment when I matched up our early recordings and we blended perfectly! I’ll never forget how exciting that moment was, and how honored I felt to sing alongside a singer that has far more talent than I could ever dream to have.

Lynda’s role is, in my opinion, the most challenging to sing. Her solo must be sung in a lower register, and her lyrics contain consonants that have to be pronounced clearly and quickly, all while balancing a more “hush, hush” volume that doesn’t diminish the strength of her voice. On top of that, she has to keep pace with the rhythm of the music without losing any flavor or style along the way, which is extremely difficult to pull off. Even more, if you listen closely after her solo, you’ll hear her singing the vast majority of the high notes and harmonies in the backing vocals for the remainder of the song. Lynda is not an alto, but she spent a lot of time training her lower register in order to get her solo right, which we all would agree she absolutely accomplished. Lynda’s voice and range are incredible. And that role couldn’t have been sung by a more perfect person than her.
Whenever I write parodies, I desperately try to rhyme with the original lyrics. I find it’s easier to remember a parody that way. Plus, if you go back and match the songs, line by line, it’s like a fun easter egg to see how the same phonetic sounds or sentiment is conveyed using Toony language. It’s a small way to reward and delight people that decide to look a bit deeper underneath the surface, which I love to do with the content I create.

Anything that didn't make the cut you wish to share?

My Day 1 “Toono” demo recording. Oh, the horror.

What sort of impact did working on this project provide?

There’s something so special about a group of fellow Toontown fans, some of whom didn’t know each other, collectively working toward the same creative vision. We all worked diligently in our areas of the project, and it was so surreal to see everyone’s tireless efforts combined to create something truly magical. I’ve certainly learned so much that will help prepare me for future collaborative projects, and I’ve been inspired by people like Tucker who had the monumental task of not only envisioning the project but working through the logistics to make it a reality. That requires so much tireless, unseen work to keep us all heading in the same direction. And I’ve been humbled to get to know people better throughout this project. It’s one thing to see some of us in Discord, in videos, or on stream, it’s another to actually have some heart-to-heart conversations. It’s worth it to work on collaborative projects because whether or not the project lives up to the expectations of your “vision”, you’ve still invested the time to listen, learn, communicate, and compromise with different types of people. And that’s something you carry with you long after your work is complete. There’s a whole lot of humanity behind each Toon you see.

Would you do something like this again? Why or why not?

Absolutely. I think my previous response sums up my reasons why.

I hope the community knows how grateful and humbled we all are by the enthusiasm for this project. It was truly a labor of love. PS. We absolutely see you all quoting the lyrics during your Toono games!


The amount of work that goes into a project like this is absolutely immense, and if there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that from start to finish “We Just Wanna Play Toono” was a passion project from the bottom of everyone’s hearts. If the stories from those interviewed today have made one thing clear, it’s that it’s had a massive impact on the individuals, those surrounding them, and the community at large. Thank you again to everyone who was interviewed today, and thank YOU for taking the time to read today’s blogpost highlighting a true achievement from the community!

Until next time!