Sunbow Entertainment

This article is about the animation studio. For the atmospheric phenomena, see 22° halo
Sunbow Entertainment, LLC
Industry Television production and film studio
Fate Folded into TV-Loonland
Founded 1980
Defunct 2004
Headquarters New York, United States
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 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.

Company overview

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[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 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.[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 U.S. rights to the Sunbow catalogue.[5][6] 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.[7][8][9][10] The titles are currently managed as part of the Hasbro Studios library. TV-Loonland filed for bankruptcy in 2009.[11]





  1. "Sony Wonder gets animated". Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  2. Meaux, Francoise (2000-10-03). "MIPCOM: TV-Loonland acquires Sony Wonder | News | Screen". Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  3. Variety Staff (2000-10-03). "TV Loonland buys up Sony Wonder units". Variety. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  4. "Transformers DVD news: Report Says Studio with "Transformers" License is Shutting Down -". Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  5. Variety Staff (2007-06-20). "SPHE absorbs Wonder label". Variety. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  6. "Sony Home Ent. Takes Over Sony Wonder | Animation World Network". 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  7. "Hasbro Reacquires Sunbow Cartoons". May 15, 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  8. Arnold, Thomas K. (2007-03-13). "Kids label Sony Wonder going under: sources". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  9. Arnold, Thomas K. (2007-03-14). "Sony ceases Wonder label". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  10. Ryan Ball (2007-03-15). "Sony Wonder Closing Shop?". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  11. Scott Roxborough, AP. "TV Loonland files for bankruptcy protection". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  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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