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|Industry||Television production and film studio|
|Founded||June 23, 1980|
|Fate||Folded into TV-Loonland|
|Headquarters||New York City, United States|
|Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal|
|Parent||Griffin-Bacal Advertising (1980–1998)|
Sony Wonder (1998–2000)
TV-Loonland AG (2000–2001)
Sunbow Entertainment was an American animation studio and distributor, 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.
Beginnings and Partnerships with Hasbro and Marvel Productions (1980–1992)
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 linked 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.
Troubles with Original Material (1992–1998)
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.
Sony Wonder Ownership (1998–2000)
On May 4, 1998, Sony Wonder, a division of Sony Music, bought Sunbow Productions in order to expand to more original programming for their television division. In May 1999, Sunbow took over European distribution of Sony Wonder's TV IPs.
TV-Loonland ownership, Dormancy and Closure (2000–2009)
On October 3, 2000, German-based company TV-Loonland AG purchased Sony Wonder's television business assets including Sunbow Entertainment. In exchange for the purchase, Sony Wonder retained US distribution 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.
In September 2001, the company announced a co-production deal with Rumpus Toys to produce Kappa Mikey, with TV-Loonland holding worldwide and home video distribution rights. In May 2002, the project was picked up by Noggin for its teen-oriented programming block The N. Noggin/The N signed a co-development deal for the series, For unknown reasons, Sunbow and TV-Loonland would later silently pull out of the deal, with the final produced show having no involvement with the two companies.
In October 2001, Sunbow announced a co-development deal with Nickelodeon to produce Skeleton Key, an animated series based on a comic book of the same name for an initial run of 13 episodes. However, the series never materialized.
After the announcement that The Cramp Twins' second season would be produced by fellow-Loonland owned studio Telemagination in 2002, Sunbow became dormant with no current productions being done at the studio, although they still remained as a company until at least 2009.
In March 2007, Sony Music Entertainment announced they would shut down Sony Wonder, leaving the US deal under limbo. However, on June 20, 2007, it was announced that Sony Wonder had been moved into Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. However, the Sunbow licenses were not included in the purchase.
On May 14, 2008, Hasbro announced that it had obtained the rights to all the Sunbow Productions animated series based on Hasbro properties for $7 million. 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 Entertainment One library.
TV-Loonland filed for bankruptcy in 2009; its catalogue was acquired by German distributor Made 4 Entertainment in April 2011. In February 2017, a Belgian production company Studio 100 purchased a majority stake in m4e.
|The Great Space Coaster||1981–1983||Syndication||Co-production with Metromedia Television|
|G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero||1983–1986||Syndication||Based on the Hasbro toyline of the same name. Co-Production with Marvel Productions|
|The Transformers||1984–1987||Syndication||based on the Hasbro toyline of same name. Co-Production with Marvel Productions|
|Super Sunday (aka Super Saturday)||1985||Syndication||based on the Hasbro toyline of the same name. Co-Production with Marvel Productions|
|Jem and the Holograms||1986||based on the Hasbro toyline of the same name. Co-Production with Marvel Productions|
|Inhumanoids||1986||based on the Hasbro toyline of the same name. Co-Production with Marvel Productions|
|My Little Pony 'n Friends||1986||Syndication||based on the Hasbro toyline of same name. Co-Production 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|
|My Little Pony Tales||1992||The Disney Channel||based on the Hasbro toyline of the same name. Co-production with Graz Entertainment|
|Conan the Adventurer||1992–1993||Syndication||co-production with Graz Entertainment (Season 1), Créativité & Developpement (Season 2) and AB Productions (Season 2)|
|Conan and the Young Warriors||1994||CBS||co-production with Graz Entertainment|
|The Tick||1994–1996||Fox||co-production with Graz Entertainment and Fox Children's Productions. Currently owned by The Walt Disney Company through BVS Entertainment|
|The Mask: The Animated Series||1995–1997||CBS||co-production with Film Roman, Dark Horse Entertainment and New Line Television. Currently owned by Warner Bros.|
|Littlest Pet Shop||1995||Syndication||based on Hasbro toyline. Co-production with Créativité & Développement, and AB Productions. Currently owned by Mediawan Thematics|
|G.I. Joe Extreme||1995||Syndication||based on Hasbro toyline. Co-production with Gunther-Wahl Productions, inc. and Graz Entertainment|
|Salty's Lighthouse||1997||TLC||co-production with Sony Wonder Television|
|The Crayon Box||1997||Syndication||co-production with Chiodo Bros. Productions, Random House Studio, Sony Wonder Television and PolyGram Television|
|Deepwater Black||1997||International distribution only. Co-production with Sony Wonder Television|
|Student Bodies||1997||Fox||Season 1 international distribution only. Produced by Telescene and 20th Television|
|The Brothers Flub||1999–2000||Nickelodeon
|co-production with Ravensburger Film + TV, Videal and Sony Wonder Television|
|Fat Dog Mendoza||2000||Cartoon Network||co-production with TMO-Loonland, Cartoon Network Europe and Sony Wonder Television|
|Generation O!||2000||The WB (Kids' WB)||co-production with RTV Family Entertainment and Sony Wonder Television|
|The Cramp Twins||2001–2004||Cartoon Network||co-production with TV-Loonland AG and Cartoon Network Europe. Series 2 was produced by Telemagination|
- 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)
- Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles (1994) (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero spin-off) (co-production with Graz Entertainment)
|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 Entertainment One.
|June 20, 1986||My Little Pony: The Movie||with Marvel Productions|
|August 8, 1986||The Transformers: The Movie||with Marvel Productions|
|1986||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)
- Schneider, Michael (May 1998). "Sony Wonder gets animated". Electronic Media. 17 (19): 75.
- "Sunbow takes Sony Wonder product to market".
- Meaux, Francoise (2000-10-03). "MIPCOM: TV-Loonland acquires Sony Wonder | News | Screen". Screendaily.com. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Variety Staff (2000-10-03). "TV Loonland buys up Sony Wonder units". Variety. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- "Sunbow and Rumpus to Produce Kappa Mikey Series".
- Godfrey, Leigh (May 29, 2002). "Sunbow and Noggin's The N to Co-Develop Kappa Mikey". Animation World Network.
Sunbow Entertainment and The N, Noggin's new network for tweens, have signed a co-development deal for the anime comedy KAPPA MIKEY.
- Fraser, Fiona (May 23, 2002). "The N comes onboard Sunbow's Kappa Mikey". C21Media.
- "Sunbow and Nick to Develop Skeleton Key".
- "The Cramp Twins Picked up for a Second Season".
- "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.
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- "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 (9 December 2009). "TV Loonland files for bankruptcy protection". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "M4e acquires TV Loonland content library".
- "Studio 100 Takes Stake in m4e". 25 January 2017.
- 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.