Sunbow Entertainment

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This article is about the animation studio. For the atmospheric phenomena, see Sun dog and 22° halo
Sunbow Entertainment, LLC
Industry Television production and film studio
Fate Folded into TV-Loonland
Founded 1980
Defunct 2004
Headquarters New York
Key people
Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal
Parent Griffin-Bacal Advertising (1980–1998)
Sony Wonder (1998–2000)
TV-Loonland AG (2000–2004)

Sunbow Entertainment was an animation studio, founded in 1980 and owned until 1998 by Griffin-Bacal Advertising in New York. The first animation efforts by Griffin-Bacal were producing the animated commercials for Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy line.

The success of the animated commercials led partners Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal to form Sunbow Productions.

Company overview[edit]

Sunbow is noted for many cartoons aired during the 1980s. Most of their work was co-produced with Marvel Productions (now part of The Walt Disney Company). Although it is not limited to Hasbro's various toy line products its reputation is tied to the many cartoon series tied to them. Its animation was initially produced by the Japanese animation studio Toei Animation, supplemented by the South Korean animation studio AKOM later on. By 1987, most of Hasbro's toy lines were losing money and various internal struggles forced the company to end popular series such as G.I. Joe and Transformers. Two of Sunbow's animated movies, (The Transformers: The Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie) flopped at the box office, forcing a third project, G.I. Joe: The Movie, to be released directly to video instead. Sunbow also worked with TMS Entertainment with Hasbro's Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, and one episode of season 3 of The Transformers, "Call of The Primitives".

In a bid to produce original material, Sunbow produced several cartoons through the early 1990s such as The Tick and Conan the Adventurer. Of these, only The Tick managed to gain popularity and critical acclaim.

On May 4, 1998, Sony Wonder, a division of Sony Music bought Sunbow Productions[1] and it was later bought by TV-Loonland on October 3, 2000 as well as Sony Wonder's television business assets[2][3] which then bought Metrodome Distribution, who had the European rights to the Sunbow catalogue.

Previously, Rhino Entertainment owned the US home video distribution rights to the Sunbow catalogue. The rights then changed hands to Sony Wonder with its acquisition of the catalogue. However, Sony Wonder was shut down in March 2007.[4]

On June 20, 2007, it was announced that Sony Wonder had been moved into Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which at the time owned the US rights to the Sunbow catalogue,[5][6] but on April 5, 2011, Munich-based brand management and media company m4e AG has bought the back catalog of former TV-Loonland AG out of the bankruptcy trust (including—with certain exceptions—the Sunbow catalog). The rights package was purchased directly from the insolvency administrator by its subsidiary m4e Television GmbH and contains more than 1,400 episodes of animation and live-action programming, as well as 22 feature and short films. Among the acquired series are The Cramp Twins, Babar (2000), Letters from Felix, Rudi & Trudi and Lion of Oz. The acquisition takes m4e group’s rights portfolio to more than 900 hours of animation and live-action content. The national and international distribution will be handled by m4e and its subsidiary Telescreen B.V.[7] On May 14, 2008, Hasbro released news that it had obtained the rights to all the Sunbow Productions animated series based on Hasbro properties. This includes Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Jem and the Holograms, The Great Space Coaster, and many more.[8][9][10][11]





  1. ^ Schneider, Michael "EBSCO Host" 05/04/98 Sony Wonder gets animated, Reetrieved on August 29, 2013
  2. ^ "Screen Daily" MIPCOM: TV-Loonland acquires Sony Wonder "Retrieved on May 22, 2012"
  3. ^ "Variety" OCTOBER 3, 2000 TV Loonland buys up Sony Wonder units, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
  4. ^ Transformers DVD news: SonyWonder Goes Under; Uncertain Future For Transformers DVDs!
  5. ^ "Variety" absorbs Wonder label, Retrieved on December 8, 2013
  6. ^ Sony Home Ent. Takes Over Sony Wonder Rick DeMott, Retrieved on August 28, 2013
  7. ^ "m4e acquires TV Loonland content library". April 5, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Hasbro Reacquires Sunbow Cartoons". May 15, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ Thomas K. Arnold "Reuters" Kids label Sony Wonder going under: sources, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
  10. ^ Thomas K. Arnold "The Hollywood Reporter" 3/14/2007 Sony ceases Wonder label, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
  11. ^ Ryan Ball "Animation Magazine" Mar 15th, 2007 Sony Wonder Closing Shop?, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
  12. ^ KNOEDELSEDER Jr, WILLIAM K. (1987-08-22). "Truly Outrageous' Dolls Sing Triple-Platinum Tune". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 

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