|Founded||July 26, 1991 (as Sony Kids’ Music)|
1992 (as Sony Wonder)
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Products||Children's and family entertainment|
|Owner||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
|Parent||Sony Music Entertainment (1991–2007)|
Sony Pictures Entertainment (2007–present)
It was founded in 1991 by Sony Music Entertainment as its children and family music and home video division. The division once distributed material from Sesame Workshop, Lyrick Studios (from 1992 to 1996) and Classic Media, and from Random House's home video division from 1995 to 2007.
On July 21, 1995, Sony Wonder and Sony Pictures Entertainment joined forces with The Jim Henson Company by releasing new movies with Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures through the joint venture Jim Henson Pictures and new sing-along-song programs on home video. The next day, Nickelodeon and Sony Wonder launched Nick Jr. Video; the sub-label was the first to distribute tapes of shows from the block since Hi-Tops Video went out of business in 1992. In 1996, two years after Viacom's merger with Paramount Pictures, Sony Wonder's deal with Nickelodeon expired, leaving Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. videos and DVDs to be distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment (and CIC Video internationally until 1999). Some Nickelodeon DVDs are released by Shout! Factory, a company founded in 2003.
On May 4, 1998, Sony Wonder bought Sunbow Productions, which had produced various shows based on Hasbro's toy lines but whose original programming had mostly under-performed. On October 3, 2000, TV-Loonland acquired the Sunbow library along with Sony Wonder's other television business assets. m4e AG currently holds the television rights of the series by Sony Wonder (including—with certain exceptions—the Sunbow catalog); it had purchased it from TV-Loonland two years after that company's bankruptcy. On May 14, 2008, Hasbro acquired from TV-Toonland the rights to all of the Sunbow programs based on its properties, which are now part of the Hasbro Studios library.
On March 13, 2007, Sony BMG announced that it was shutting down Sony Wonder to focus on its core music business. However, on June 20, 2007, it was announced that Sony Wonder became a division of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as its kids’- and family-entertainment label. Classic Media's, Sesame Workshop's and Random House's video deals were sold to Genius Products for an undisclosed amount, and later to Vivendi Entertainment. Sesame Workshop properties are currently distributed by Warner Home Video.
Despite the similarity in name, Sony Wonder is not directly related to the former Sony Wonder Technology Lab, an interactive technology and entertainment museum, although the museum was also owned by Sony.
Notes and references
- "The Free Library" SONY WONDER ANNOUNCES EAGERLY AWAITED DEBUT OF NICKELODEON'S PREMIER PROGRAMMING ON HOME VIDEO & AUDIO WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NICK COLLECTION thefreelibrary.com, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
- "Variety" Sony Wonder to issue Nick fare on vid/audio variety.com, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
- Brian Henson and Stephanie Allain to Chat on Entertainment Tonight Online thefreelibrary.com, Retrieved on August 28, 2013
- CLAUDIA ELLER The Los Angeles Times July 21, 1995 Company Town : Muppets Cut Deal With Sony Pictures articles.latimes.com, Retrieved on August 28, 2013
- "EBSCO Host" 7/22/95 Sony Wonder, Nickelodeon launch Nick Junior video connection.ebscohost.com, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
- During this period, two companies named Viacom have owned Paramount. The original Viacom owned the studio until 2006, when the new Viacom (spun off from the old one, which was renamed CBS Corporation) assumed ownership of Paramount, along with MTV Networks and BET Networks.)
- Matzer, Marla "EBSCO Host" 6/03/96 Sony, Nick are quits connection.ebscohost.com, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
- Schneider, Michael "EBSCO Host" 05/04/98 Sony Wonder gets animated connection.ebscohost.com, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
- "Screen Daily" MIPCOM: TV-Loonland acquires Sony Wonder screendaily.com "Retrieved on May 22, 2012"
- "Variety" OCTOBER 3, 2000 TV Loonland buys up Sony Wonder units variety.com, Retrieved on August 29, 2013
- "Broadcast" 6 October 2000 TV-Loonland takes on Sony's Sunbow broadcastnow.co.uk, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
- Scott Roxborough, AP. "TV Loonland files for bankruptcy protection". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Hasbro Reacquires Sunbow Cartoons". ign.com. May 15, 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (2007-03-13). "Kids label Sony Wonder going under: sources". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (2007-03-14). "Sony ceases Wonder label". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Ryan Ball (2007-03-15). "Sony Wonder Closing Shop?". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Thomas K. Arnold "Reuters" Kids label Sony Wonder going under: sources reuters.com, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
- Thomas K. Arnold "The Hollywood Reporter" 3/14/2007 Sony ceases Wonder label hollywoodreporter.com, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
- Ryan Ball "Animation Magazine" Mar 15th, 2007 Sony Wonder Closing Shop? animationmagazine.net, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
- "Variety" absorbs Wonder label variety.com, Retrieved on December 8, 2013
- Sony Home Ent. Takes Over Sony Wonder Rick DeMott awn.com, Retrieved on August 28, 2013