Sunbow Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Sunbow Entertainment (formerly known as Sunbow Productions until 1995) was an American production company and animation studio formed in 1980 by Griffin-Bacal Advertising. Their first production was The Great Space Coaster, but were most famous for their cartoons based on Hasbro's toylines in the 80's, like The Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, as well as their own original shows in the 90's, like The Tick. In 1998, Sony Wonder bought up Sunbow Entertainment, but was later sold to TV-Loonland in 2000. TV-Loonland folded Sunbow Entertainment on July 24, 2004. In 2008, Hasbro, Inc. acquired its properties (i.e. G.I. Joe and Transformers) from TV-Loonland. and then the company went dormant and folded into TV-Loonland, themselves filed for bankruptcy in December of that year, and, 2 years later, the rest of TV Loonland's catalog was sold to m4e (made for entertainment) AG in Germany.

1st Logo (January 5, 1981-May 27, 1983)

Visuals: Fading in to a dark blue background, a strange dark object emerges from the top right corner and zooms into the middle, leaving a chyron trail as it does. As it stops zooming, the dark shadows on the object disappear, revealing itself to be the Sunbow Productions logo. It consists of an orange circle with a yellow gradient on the edges, and surrounding it is the text "SUNBOW PRODUCTIONS" in the same colors, but with the pattern reversed, in a font similar to that of the Jeopardy! logo. The text is arranged in a circle pattern, which are supposedly made to resemble "sunrays".

Technique: Scanimate effects.

Audio: A high-pitched synth "whoosh" effect, followed by a synth keyboard-type chime that has a "wow"-like pitch and a echo effect. The entire audio was produced by Don Dannemann, Tommy Goodman, and Norris O'Neill.

Availability: Seen only on the first three seasons of The Great Space Coaster.

2nd Logo (September 12, 1983-February 11, 1995)

Visuals: On a shady blue background, four small dots (two are white, one is orange, and one is a dark shade of pink), come in from all sides to merge in the middle, causing a small flash of light to appear and a off-center orange circle to grow. As it reaches its maximum size, two six-pointed lights appear and rotate in opposite directions of each other briefly, and the circle shrinks a bit, fading to the same logo from before, but with a saturated color scheme and black outlines. Two pings then appear, on on top of the "W", and another on the bottom of the last "S".


  • Co-productions with Marvel Productions use either of the following:
    • TV Variant: On a dark blue background, a stylized "MP" (larger version of the first Marvel Productions logo, but colored blue and white) quickly zooms backwards, placing itself on the bottom half of the screen. When the "MP" is in place, a flash of light reveals the words "MARVEL PRODUCTIONS LTD." in a rounded white font, along with the byline "A CADENCE COMPANY" underneath in a smaller font. At the same time, a spark forms an orange ball of light on the top half of the screen, which fades to reveal the 1984 Sunbow logo. When both logos are in place, a very bright sparkle shines on the edge of the "P" in the Marvel Productions logo.
    • Movie Variant: Zooming out from an orange planet, there is a detailed space background with a nebula, as well as a white and orange light. The orange light reaches behind the planet and causes the planet to burst into light, turning it into the Sunbow logo, while the screen zooms out from some silver bars that close up to form the Marvel Productions logo, this time in silver. The lights on the Sunbow logo die down, and the Marvel logo rotates straight upwards as the trail for the text recedes. Both logo shine, a simple wipe on the "MP" and a circular wipe on the Sunbow text, as stars flash in the background. The television counterpart is the short version and only features the logos shining.
      • On most early season 3 episodes of The Transformers and later G.I. Joe episodes, either the version is sped-up or it has the last half of the version.
  • Short versions of the logo exist: some start the finished logo shining, while others start with the huge orange ball.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A five-note piano tune (ending in a three-note bass sounder) with a brief sparkling at the beginning (the sparkling being absent until 1984). When the logo shines, a two-note synth ending (or two synthesized "pings"). Otherwise, the closing theme of the show plays over the logo.

Audio Variant: The Sunbow/Marvel movie version has a bombastic synth fanfare with a chorus and explosion, as well as lightsaber-esque sounds for the shining. Otherwise, the opening theme of the movie plays over the version.

Later Audio Variant: Starting in 1991, the tune is replaced with two synth chords before the 3-note bass sounder starts and the sparkling is also replaced with a whoosh as the dots converge.


  • Debuted on the final two seasons of The Great Space Coaster and later on the 1984 CBS Special The Secret World of the Very Young.
  • Appears on Conan the Adventurer, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, My Little Pony Tales (the early '90s reboot), Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Warriors, a few CBS Schoolbreak Specials like A Matter of Conscience, the one-shot DTV feature Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles (a spin-off of G.I. Joe) and the first season of The Tick.
  • It also appears on the international prints of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (the 1989 series).
  • The Sunbow/Marvel TV version appears on G.I. Joe, The Transformers (the bylineless version appears on late season 3 episodes and season 4 of the aforementioned show), Jem and the Holograms, the 1980s incarnation of My Little Pony, Moon Dreamers, Potato Head Kids and Inhumanoids.
  • The Sunbow/Marvel movie version appears at the start of all movies co-produced with Marvel Productions.

3rd Logo (August 12, 1995-June 26, 1998)

Visuals: On a black background, the faint edges of some letters can be seen as a yellow circle, representing the sun, rises up. Eventually, the entire logo brightens up to reveal the blue text "SUNB W" (in the Didot font)--with the sun being an O to form "SUNBOW"--, with the blue word "ENTERTAINMENT" (in a Helvetica font) below the sun.


  • A short version (where the logo is sped-up but the audio isn't) exists on some season 2 episodes of The Tick.
  • A still version also exists on The Mask: The Animated Series.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: A dramatic six-note woodwind fanfare with a "trill" at the end (composed by Carole Heller); the short version omits the first half of the music. Otherwise, the closing theme of the show plays over.

Availability: Seen on Littlest Pet Shop (the 1995 version), Salty's Lighthouse, G.I. Joe: Extreme, Mission: Genesis (a.k.a. Deepwater Black in some markets) and some season 2 episodes and all season 3 episodes of The Tick. The short version is seen on some season 2 episodes of The Tick. The still version is seen on The Mask: The Animated Series.

4th Logo (October 30, 1997-January 9, 1999)

Visuals: A spinning globe of the Earth zooms out to reveal a space background with a shining light in the top left corner. The Earth veers into center right as several gold/white bars slide in from the left and right side of the screen. The bars fold up to form the previous logo. A lens flare comes out from the top of the background and (at the end) fades to a 2D version on a white background that has the black text (still in 3D) and the sun being a white/yellow gradient.

Technique: CGI done in-house.

Audio: A rock theme with a few whooshes added.

Availability: Seen only on some Korean VHS releases of the company's then-current catalogue.

Legacy: Though the logo is okay for the time, it's just an oddity (given that no known show from Sunbow used this logo [because there wasn't much demand for it outside of South Korea]). The logo was first surfaced in 2016 on a compilation video that mostly showcases South Korea.

5th Logo (January 16, 1999-July 24, 2004)

Visuals: On a teal background, the blue text "SUNB W" can be seen, as a yellow circle rises up from the bottom. As it settles into position, the entire logo brightens up, turning the background teal, and the circle gaining lines via a wipe effect, making it similar to Sony Wonder's sun at the time. "ENTERTAINMENT" fades in below the text, spaced out to fit the length of it, and the byline as well. The sun also gains a shadow.


  • January 16, 1999-February 28, 2000: "A Division of Sony Wonder"
  • February 28, 2000-July 24, 2004: "A TV-Loonland Company"


  • With the TV-Loonland byline, the logo became still and the background is also white.
    • On Season 2 of The Cramp Twins, the logo appears in-credit.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: Just the sound of a rooster crowing.

Audio Variant: Often times, the closing theme plays over it.

Availability: Seen on The Brothers Flub, season 1 of The Cramp Twins (in-credit on season 2) and the TV special Donner. This doesn't appear on Fat Dog Mendoza and Generation O, as they both just use in-credit notices.
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