|Formerly||Sony Kids’ Music/Video (1992-93)|
|Owner||Sony Pictures Entertainment (2007–present)|
|Parent||Sony Music Entertainment (1992–2007)|
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2007–present)
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.
Sony Music Video launched its Sony Kids' Music and Sony Kids' Video labels in February 1992 after months of planning under the banner SMV Children's Library. Artists signed to Sony Kids' Music at launch included Dan Crow, Tom Chapin, Tom Paxton, Kevin Roth, Rory, and Lois Young, who would all release product in the spring. After Sony Music Video dissolved in October, Sony Kids' Music and Video were coordinated and marketed through Epic Records beginning in January 1993. On May 22, 1993, Nickelodeon signed a long-term agreement with Epic Records as well.
On July 3, Sony Kids' Music and Video were merged as Sony Wonder; Sony Wonder's president Ted Green sought new strategic alliances like their one with Nickelodeon. On April 24, 1995, Children's Television Workshop entered a long-term agreement to distribute Sesame Street videos, music, and books through Sony Wonder, while Columbia Pictures began development on two CTW films which would be released on video by Columbia TriStar Home Video. Sony Wonder also took over distribution of Random House Home Video titles, also during April. 
On July 29, Nickelodeon and Sony Wonder launched Nick Jr. Video with three titles based on Eureeka's Castle, Gullah Gullah Island, and Allegra's Window; an audio line launched on March 26, 1996. In 1996, two years after Viacom's acquisition of Paramount Communications, the owners of Paramount Pictures, Sony Wonder's deal with Nickelodeon expired, leaving Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. videos and DVDs to be distributed by Paramount Home Video (and CIC Video internationally until 1999).
On August 2, 1997, Sony Wonder entered a long-term worldwide joint venture with Together Again Video Productions to create and distribute new and previous Kidsongs titles, starting with 20 new episodes of The Kidsongs Television Show. On December 27, Sony Wonder and Golden Books Family Entertainment joined forces to release hit titles from Golden Books' catalog starting in spring 1998; the contract continued with Classic Media after they acquired Golden Books.
On May 4, 1998, Sony Wonder bought Sunbow Entertainment, which had produced various shows based on Hasbro's toy lines but whose original programming had mostly under-performed. On October 3, 2000, German based company TV-Loonland AG acquired the Sunbow library along with Sony Wonder's other television business assets. As part of the deal, Sony kept the North American home video and international audio rights to its library. On May 14, 2008, Hasbro acquired the Sunbow programs based on its properties, which are now part of the eOne library.
In 2009, TV-Loonland filed for bankruptcy. In 2011, Loonland sold its catalogue to m4e AG. In February 2017, Studio 100 acquired a majority stake in m4e AG. Studio 100 currently holds the television rights to most of the Loonland catalogue, including Sunbow and Sony Wonder.
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. The home media releases to Caillou were moved to Vivendi Entertainment Canada. Since 2012, Caillou DVDs are distributed by Entertainment One and after their purchase of Phase 4 Films in 2014, are released through the KaBoom Entertainment label. Sesame Workshop's properties were moved to Warner Home Video in 2010 following the closure of Genius Products. As of 2018, Sesame Workshop’s properties are currently distributed by Shout! Factory through the Shout! Factory Kids label.
In 2012, DreamWorks Animation acquired Classic Media for $155 million; the company became a unit of DreamWorks Animation and was renamed to DreamWorks Classics.
The Sony Wonder label is still used for the direct-to-video The Swan Princess film series.
Notes and references
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- (page 12)
- (page 10)
- "Sony Wonder Restructures (page 120)" (PDF). July 17, 1993.
- "SONY WONDER ANNOUNCES EAGERLY AWAITED DEBUT OF NICKELODEON'S PREMIER PROGRAMMING ON HOME VIDEO & AUDIO WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE NICK COLLECTION" (Press release). Sony Wonder. 6 July 1993. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
- Ayscough, Suzan (1993-07-07). "Sony Wonder to issue Nick fare on vid/audio". Variety. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Big Bird & Friends Land In Sony Wonder's Nest (page 4/92)" (PDF). May 6, 1995.
- "Sony Wonder, Nickelodeon launch Nick Junior video". New York Amsterdam News. 86 (29): 26. July 1995.
- 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 (June 1996). "Sony, Nick are quits". Brandweek. 37 (23): 3.
- "Sony Wonder Signs On To Sing 'Kidsongs' Praises In Together Again Deal". August 2, 1997.
- "Sony Wonder And Golden Books Form Kid-Vid Pact (page 14/89)". December 27, 1997.
- "CINAR CORPORATION RENEWS HOME ENTERTAINMENT DEAL WITH SONY WONDER CANADA". October 2, 2000. Archived from the original on 2003-02-05.
- Schneider, Michael (May 1998). "Sony Wonder gets animated". Electronic Media. 17 (19): 75.
- Saint Marc, Francoise Meaux (2000-10-03). "MIPCOM: TV-Loonland acquires Sony Wonder". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
- "TV Loonland buys up Sony Wonder units". Variety. 2000-10-03. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Broadcast" 6 October 2000 TV-Loonland takes on Sony's Sunbow broadcastnow.co.uk, Retrieved on August 30, 2013
- "Hasbro Reacquires Sunbow Cartoons". ICv2. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (2007-03-14). "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.
- Ball, Ryan (2007-03-15). "Sony Wonder Closing Shop?". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Roxborough, Scott (2009-12-09). "TV Loonland files for bankruptcy protection". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-07-19.
- Getzler, Wendy Goldman (2011-04-05). "m4e acquires TV Loonland content library". Kidscreen.
- "Studio 100 Takes Stake in m4e". 25 January 2017.
- "SPHE absorbs Wonder label". Variety. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- DeMott, Rick (2007-07-11). "Sony Home Ent. Takes Over Sony Wonder". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
- "TVShowsOnDVD.com - Goodbye". www.tvshowsondvd.com.
- Dade Hayes (2018-08-01). "Sesame Workshop And Shout Factory Reach Multi-Year Distribution Deal – Deadline". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2021-02-22.