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|Industry||Television production and film studio|
|Founded||June 23, 1980|
|Defunct||October 21, 2004|
|Headquarters||New York, United States|
|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 City and in the United States. Griffin-Bacal's first animations were 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. Due to their close working relationship with Hasbro, Sunbow came to be recognized as the toy giant's unofficial television arm.
Sunbow is noted for many cartoons aired during the 1980s. Most of their work was co-produced with Marvel Productions. Although it is not limited to Hasbro's various toy lines its reputation is tied to the 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 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. 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. Only The Tick managed to gain popularity and critical acclaim.
On May 4, 1998, Sony Wonder, a division of Sony Music, bought Sunbow Productions and it was later bought by TV-Loonland on October 3, 2000, as well as Sony Wonder's television business assets, which then bought Metrodome Distribution, who had the European rights to the Sunbow catalogue.
Previously, Rhino Entertainment owned the U.S. 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.
On June 20, 2007, it was announced that Sony Wonder had been moved into Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which at the time owned the U.S. rights to the Sunbow catalogue. On May 14, 2008, Hasbro announced 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, and many more. These titles are currently managed as part of the Allspark Animation library.
|G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero||1983–1986||Syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name with Marvel Productions|
|The Transformers||1984–1987||Syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name with Marvel Productions|
|Super Sunday (aka Super Saturday)||1985||Syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name co-produced with Marvel Productions|
|Jem and the Holograms||1986||based on Hasbro toyline of same name co-produced with Marvel Productions|
|Inhumanoids||1986||based on Hasbro toyline of same name co-produced with Marvel Productions|
|My Little Pony 'n Friends||1986||Syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name with Marvel Productions; first half of the show was My Little Pony while the second half was a wheel series|
|Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars||1991–1992||Syndication||co-production with Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, Continuity Comics, IDDH, and Marvel Productions|
- The Great Space Coaster (1981) (co-production with Metromedia Television)
- G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra (1984) (co-production with Marvel Productions)
- The GLO Friends Save Christmas (1985)
- Transformers: Five Faces of Darkness (1986) (co-production with Marvel Productions and AKOM)
- Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987) (co-production with TMS Entertainment)
- Transformers: The Return of Optimus Prime (1986) (co-production with Marvel Productions)
- Transformers: The Rebirth (1987) (co-production with Marvel Productions)
- My Little Pony Tales (1992) (co-production with Graz Entertainment)
- Conan the Adventurer (1992) (co-production with Graz Entertainment)
- Conan and the Young Warriors (1994) (co-production with Graz Entertainment)
- Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles (1994) (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero spin-off) (co-production with Graz Entertainment)
- The Tick (1994–1996) (co-production with Graz Entertainment and Fox Children's Productions)
- The Mask: The Animated Series (1995–1997) (co-production with Film Roman, Dark Horse Entertainment and New Line Television)
- Littlest Pet Shop (1995) (co-production with Créativité & Développement, and AB Productions)
- G.I. Joe Extreme (1995) (co-production with Hasbro, Gunther-Wahl Productions, inc. and Graz Entertainment)
- Salty's Lighthouse (1997)
- The Crayon Box (1997)
- Fat Dog Mendoza (1998)
- The Brothers Flub (1999)
- Generation O! (2000)
- The Cramp Twins (2001)
|October 25, 1983||The Charmkins||syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name|
|April 14, 1984||My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle||syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name|
|March 23, 1985||My Little Pony: Escape from Catrina||syndication||based on Hasbro toyline of same name|
- Note: All programs based on Hasbro properties are co-productions with Marvel Productions. These programs are owned by Allspark Animation.
|June 20, 1986||My Little Pony: The Movie||with Marvel Productions|
|August 8, 1986||The Transformers: The Movie||with Marvel Productions|
|1996||Inhumanoids: The Movie DTV||with Marvel Productions|
|April 20, 1987||G.I. Joe: The Movie DTV||with Marvel Productions|
- Donner (2001, in cooperation with Rainbow Studios and TV-Loonland AG)
- "SSM interview". Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
- "Sony Wonder gets animated". Connection.ebscohost.com. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
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- Variety Staff (2000-10-03). "TV Loonland buys up Sony Wonder units". Variety. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Transformers DVD news: Report Says Studio with "Transformers" License is Shutting Down - TVShowsOnDVD.com". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on 29 March 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Variety Staff (2007-06-20). "SPHE absorbs Wonder label". Variety. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Sony Home Ent. Takes Over Sony Wonder | Animation World Network". Awn.com. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "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.
- Scott Roxborough, AP. "TV Loonland files for bankruptcy protection". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- Gelman, Morrie (September 17, 1986). "Sunbow Takes To Marvel Like Duck To Water In Animation". Variety. Cahners Business Information. p. 81. Archived from the original (jpeg) on February 14, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Swenson, John (December 22, 1987). "Cartoon Character Puts Singer Into Spotlight". Sun Sentinel. Tribune Publishing. United Press International. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- Webber, Tim (December 10, 2016). "15 Cartoon Superheroes Who Jumped To Comic Books". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
- Imbesi, Pete (May 5, 2017). "15 CLASSIC Cartoons Marvel SECRETLY Produced". Comic Book Rescoures. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Reddish, David (September 1, 2016). "15 Animated Superhero TV Shows You Completely Forgot About". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 24, 2017.