Sony Wonder

Sony Wonder
Formerly
Sony Kids’ Music
Subsidiary
Industry Entertainment
Founded July 26, 1991; 29 years ago (1991-07-26)
Headquarters ,
Products Family films
Owner Sony Pictures Entertainment (2007–present)
Parent Sony Music Entertainment (1991–2007)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2007–present)
Website www.sonypictures.com/familyfun

Sony Wonder (founded as Sony Kids’ Music) is the kids and family entertainment label of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and the former record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment.

History

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 April 2, 1991, The Lyons Group striked a deal with the company to create Barney videos on VHS and re-release their previous videos they has with Kids Edutainment.

On July 6, 1993, Sony Wonder acquired video distribution rights to Nickelodeon's series by Hi-Tops Video.[1][2]

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.[3][4] 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.[5] In 1996, two years after Viacom's acquisition of Paramount Communications, the owners of Paramount Pictures[6], Sony Wonder's deal with Nickelodeon and The Lyons Group expired, leaving Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. videos and DVDs to be distributed by Paramount Home Video (and CIC Video internationally until 1999) and Barney videos became independent. Some Nickelodeon DVDs are released by Shout! Factory, a company founded in 2003.[7]

On May 4, 1998, Sony Wonder bought Sunbow Entertainment,[8] 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. As part of the deal, Sony kept the North American home video and international audio rights to its library.[9][10][11] On May 14, 2008, Hasbro acquired the Sunbow programs based on its properties, which are now part of the Hasbro Studios library.[12][13][14][15]

In 2009, TV-Loonland filed for insolvency.[16] In 2011, Loonland sold its catalogue to m4e AG. [17] 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.[18]

Shut Down and Transfer to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

On March 13, 2007, Sony BMG announced that it was shutting down Sony Wonder to focus on its core music business.[13][14][15] 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.[19][20] 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.[20] Sesame Workshop's properties are currently distributed by Shout Factory.[21][22]

Relations with Sony Wonder Technology Lab

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.

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