Sony Wonder

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

(Redirected from Sony Kids Video)




Background

Sony Wonder was the children's music and home video arm of Sony Music Entertainment, originally formed in 1992 as "Sony Kids' Music/Video". In 1993, Sony Wonder began distributing Nickelodeon videos until 1996, when their license with Nickelodeon expired. In 1995, the company began distributing Kidsongs video releases after acquiring the rights from KidVision until 1998, and Sesame Workshop releases from 1995 to 2007, as well as Arthur videos from 2000 to 2006. By 1997, they distributed videos from Golden Books Family Entertainment, which became Classic Media in 2002.

Sony Wonder also had a TV division, which produced and distributed TV shows. This division of the company purchased Sunbow Entertainment in 1998, but in October 2000 the company sold their TV division including Sunbow to Germany's TV-Loonland AG.

On March 13, 2007, Sony BMG Music Entertainment announced they would shut down Sony Wonder so that they can focus on their central music businesses; it would be moved to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as an in-name-only division on June 20, 2007. The company was completely merged into SPHE in 2020, and a majority of its kids' content is now handled by Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Television Kids. The releases by Classic Media (now part of NBCUniversal) and Sesame Workshop were then transferred to Genius Products. From 2010 to 2018, Sesame Street DVDs were distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and since late 2018, they have been released by Shout! Factory Kids.



1st Logo (July 1993-April 11, 1995)


Visuals: On a pale blue background, a dark blue Sony logo is seen slightly above the center. At the same time, a teal box falls from the top to the bottom-middle of the screen, squeezing in as it does so. Once it hits the bottom, it bounces back up, spreading itself out, and stops below "SONY", revealing the word "WONDER" in the Herman font.

Variant: On the 1994 VHS release of Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S. Cry of the Coda, a still of the logo is seen with the words "ALSO AVAILABLE FROM" above it in the same color as the Sony logo. This is after the initial logo's sequence ends.

Technique: Computer graphics.

Audio: None, except for the variant listed above, which has an announcer saying "Also available from Sony Wonder."

Availability:

  • It can be seen on pre-1995 Nickelodeon tapes from the era, which are easily available on Amazon and eBay. One of which is Ren and Stimpy: Incredibly Stupid Stories.
  • The later Nickelodeon tapes (the ones that say "Nickelodeon Video") have the next logo.
  • It also appears on VHS tapes of A Bunch of Munsch, Dog City, Wild C.A.T.S., Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, and Tales from the Cryptkeeper, respectively.

2nd Logo (April 18, 1995-2007; February 25, 2014-September 19, 2023)

Visuals: On a cloudy time-lapse background, playing backwards with the sun glowing behind it, the word "WONDER" (in the same Herman font, albeit more simplified), in a purple ribbon, flies from the top-right to the bottom of the screen, turning magenta in the process. The ribbon then turns blue when stopping at the near center, and a CGI yellow sun appear in place of the "O" in "WONDER" (and directly behind where the other sun resides) via a light effect. The Sony logo fades in at the top of the ribbon as the CGI sun's rays wiggle. The end result is almost the same as the first logo.

Variants:

  • On some tapes and DVDs, alongside television shows, there is a short version which starts with the logo being formed. This can mainly be found on trailers.
  • An early version of this logo mostly exists on Nickelodeon tapes such as Rocko's Modern Christmas, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: Monsters Night Out, and Ren & Stimpy: Nothing But Shorts. The light effect barely moves and is much brighter, and the sun is a much yellower golden. The background itself is also darker.
  • On Side A of the 1995 The Ren and Stimpy Show: The Essential Collection - Classics I & II LaserDisc, the logo is in a much higher quality and the sun is more orange.
  • On Big Bird Sings, there are no fades at the beginning or end of the logo.
  • A still widescreen version of the logo with a different cloud background has been spotted on the 2014 DVD of The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale and the 2016 DVD of The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today, among very few other current Swan Princess titles.
  • The color of the CGI yellow sun in "WONDER" can vary. On nearly all Sony Wonder releases, the CGI sun is in golden-yellow. On many Sesame Street VHS releases from late 1996-early 1998 such as Sing Yourself Sillier At the Movies and Kids' Guide to Life: Telling the Truth, the CGI sun is in orange-yellow orange. On early 1996 Sesame Street VHS releases such as Elmocize and Rock & Roll, the logo appears brighter, making the CGI sun appear in a white-tinted color.
  • For Kidsongs VHS releases, the transition choice is either fade-then-cut or the other way around, depending on whether this logo plays before or after the 3rd TAP logo.
  • On widescreen DVD releases from the company, the logo is centered on a light blue background, and is "blended" into it in the cheapest way possible.
  • On the 1999 VHS of Little Witch, an SME copyright notice (in the Impact font) can be seen after the logo fades out.
  • On the Greek release of Rainbow Fish, the already-formed logo has its animation stop near the end of its runtime.
  • Two short versions exist:
    • One that begins where the ribbon stops in the center (seen on CINAR shows like Caillou and Zoboomafoo, alongside TV shows like Mega Babies and the third season of The Kidsongs Television Show).
    • One that begins as the ribbon animation begins (seen on A Rugrats Passover).
  • On trailers for Sesame Street VHS tapes and cassettes, the logo is already formed with only the clouds in the background moving. The Sesame Street Video and Audio trailer, however, has it in obvious jagged jpeg quality.
  • On Generation O!, the "www.generationO.com" URL appears underneath the logo.
  • Starting in 2014 with The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale, the logo is still, widescreen and has a different cloud background.

Technique: CGI with some live-action footage.

Audio: When the logo starts, a riveting string note plays held out, and when the ribbon appears, descending harp notes play in-sync with the ribbon. As the ribbon is in its position with the sun appearing, a brief flute melody plays, and when the Sony logo appears, everything rises to a majestic note complete with tubular bells that slowly stops once the logo fades; this is all synthesized. Guy Moon composed the entirely-synthesized music, with some samples produced on the E-mu Proteus 2 Orchestral digital synthesizer.

Audio Variants:

  • For the early version of the logo, some of the instruments are more quiet. This variant only lasted for a few months, as Tales from the Whoop: Hot Rod Brown, Class Clown, released on August 8, 1995, was the first known VHS to use the normal music.
  • On Canadian releases, an announcer will say "Look for these great products now available from Sony Wonder."
  • For certain Sesame Street VHS tapes, an echo/reverb effect is added. Same goes for the CTW "Sparks" logo following it.
  • On TV shows, only the last half of the tune plays.
    • In some cases, like certain episodes of Fat Dog Mendoza, the music starts a little late.
    • For Generation O!, the music fades out faster than usual.
  • At the end of the Sesame Street Video and Audio trailer, the theme starts near the harp, making it off-sync to the logo's animation.
  • In some cases, it's either the advertisement music or opening/ending theme of a show/feature.
  • At the end of Timothy Tweedle, the logo's music starts very late, due to its music and the Balmur Entertainment music being swapped. However, inside the movie's contents contains a version with the logo order fixed.
  • On the 2003 DVD releases of Zoe's Dance Moves and Elmo's World: The Great Outdoors, a whoosh panning from the right to the left can be heard during the ribbon's movement, along with a twinkle during the bell portion. The VHS releases didn't have this, as they used the normal music.
  • On The Swan Princess: A Fairy Tale is Born, the logo is silent.

Availability:

  • It can be seen on many Sony Wonder VHS and DVD releases from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, along with TV shows as well.
  • VHS and DVD releases that can feature this include Sesame Street videos, later Arthur releases, and specials from Golden Books Family Entertainment/Classic Media (though on VHS tapes, it mainly appeared at the end).
  • Some of the last releases to use this logo were the 2006 VHS releases of Sesame Street: Guess That Shape And Color, Elmo's Potty Time, and Elmo's World: Reach for the Sky!, respectively.
  • The "blended" widescreen variant can be found on the DVD release of The Legend of Frosty the Snowman (the 2005 special) and the 2006 Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie DVD, respectively.
  • The short version was seen on international TV airings of Generation O! years ago, as well as the third season of The Kidsongs Television Show.
    • It is also seen on the infamous Mega Babies following the CinéGroupe and Landmark Entertainment Group logos and Fat Dog Mendoza, Hoyt'n Andy's Sportsbender, as well as Canadian releases of CINAR shows like Caillou and Zoboomafoo. It also appears on Tubi's print of Santa Mouse and the Ratdeer.
  • It also made appearances on the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's releases of three of the four Holly Hobbie And Friends specials - Surprise Party, "Christmas Wishes" and "Best Friends Forever" - released after Sony Wonder transitioned to SPHE.
    • The third special - "Secret Adventures" - uses the next logo.
  • The logo returned in 2014 with the CGI Swan Princess films beginning with A Royal Family Tale and ending with Far Longer than Forever (Christmas has the Stage 6 Films logo instead). This version of the logo also appeared on Honey Girls.
  • It also appears on several UK VHS releases from Maverick Entertainment, such as the 2001 UK VHS release of Transformers: The Movie Special Collector's Edition as well.

Legacy: A nostalgic logo for those that grew-up with it.

3rd Logo (November 14, 2006-August 28, 2007)



Visuals: On a white background, a crudely drawn gold circle zooms in incredibly close to the screen, then pans back, followed by rapid flashing. Several lines appear across the circle, turning it into a sun (same design as the previous logo, but slightly redrawn), then spin around. The rays blur, then are re-drawn. The sun bounces to the middle of the screen, where the text "SONY", in its corporate font, slides in from the left and bumps the logo. "WONDER", also in the Sony logo font, then slides in from the right and makes the logo positioned correctly. The sun rays spin around one more time and stop. The entire time, the rays wiggle around (ala the Tom Snyder Productions logo and the animation style of the Cartoon Network series, Ed, Edd, 'n Eddy).

Variant: On some releases, the text "sonywonder.com" (in grey) fades in under the "WONDER" text.

Technique: Computer animation commissioned by Bemis Balkind.

Audio: A quick jet zooming sound, then multiple xylophone notes and a "TWING!" as the circular sun zooms back. As the sun spins around, several drum taps play out to represent a wheel spinning, then three bouncing sounds. Two "dwong" sounds are heard as the Sony Wonder logo is finally formed, followed by an ascending twinkle.

Availability: This logo was rather short-lived.

  • It appears on these Sesame Street releases: A Sesame Street Christmas Carol, Elmo's World: What Makes You Happy? and Sesame Beginnings: Moving Together.
  • It also likely appears on the documentary The World According to Sesame Street as well.
  • It also appears on several Canadian Caillou DVD releases from this time such as Caillou The Builder and Caillou The Brave.
  • After the label transitioned off to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, it made a later appearance on the reissue of Holly Hobbie & Friends: Secret Adventures.

4th Logo (October 13, 2009)


Visuals: On a blue-and-pink, lighted environment background filled with with auras and bubbles (likely a stock image), the text "Sony wonder" in a white Helvetica font is in the upper center of the screen.

Technique: Fading effects.

Audio: None.

Availability: It was only seen on Playmobil: The Secret of Pirate Island.

Sony Kids' Video
Sony Wonder
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