Creator: Sunbow Entertainment
Sunbow Entertainment is an American animation studio, founded in 1980 and owned up until 1998 by Griffin-Bacal Advertising in New York. The first animation efforts by Griffin-Bacal were producing the 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. One of Sunbow's most well known productions is the long running syndicated series The Great Space Coaster
, and perhaps their least-known is The Brothers Flub
Sunbow is noted for many cartoons aired during the 1980s. Although it is not limited to Hasbro's various toy line products its reputation is tied to the many 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 1988, most of Hasbro's toylines were losing money and various internal struggles forced the company to end popular series such as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
and The Transformers
. Two of Sunbow's animated movies, (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 instead.
In a bid to produce original material, Sunbow produced several cartoons through the early 1990s such as The Nudnik Show
, The Tick
and Conan The Adventurer
. Of these, only The Tick
managed to gain popularity and critical acclaim.
On April 28, 1998 Sunbow Productions was bought by Sony
Wonder, a division of Sony Music. Sunbow was sold for US$10 million dollars in 2000 to TV Loonland, which then bought Metrodome Distribution, who currently have the European rights to the Sunbow catalogue. In 2008, Hasbro purchased the Sunbow TV series based on the toy company's properties; these shows now are an important part of The Hub
Previously, Rhino Entertainment owned the US home video distribution rights to the Sunbow catalogue. The rights then changed hands to Sony Wonder with its acquisition of Sunbow. However, Sony Wonder was shut down in March 2007 and absorbed into Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
In 2009, Shout! Factory
began reissuing the original G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
, The Transformers
and My Little Pony 'n Friends
series on DVD.
Among the various series produced by Sunbow are: