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 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.
Sony Kids' Video
1st Logo (1992-1993)
Logo: On an orange-pinkish background filled with brown silhouettes of kids, we see a blue upside down triangle with the familiar Sony logo on top of it. There is also a yellow ribbon-like rectangle over the triangle with the black words "KIDS' VIDEO" (with jumbled letters) and a huge black music note between them.
Music/Sounds: An ominous, screechy choir, which sounds like something from a horror/thriller movie. This ends with a quick orchestral glissando, similar to the Paramount Television "Closet Killer" logo.
Availability: Rare. It was spotted on a 1992 VHS of Snow White. Also seen on VHS tapes of The Ratties.
2nd Logo (1992-1993)
Logo: On an aqua background with childish drawings of various objects in several different colors, we see the familiar Sony logo in pink with a purple outline. Below that is a dark blue TV with yellow knobs on a pink checkered floor. Inside the TV is a blue musical note moving and bouncing around inside the TV while the wave background behind it spins and changes color. Around the TV is a yellow banner with dark blue text reading "KIDS' VIDEO".
- A longer variant extsts. TBA
- An in-credit version exists with the same background with dark blue texts that reads "A SONY Kids' Video Production".
FX/SFX: The background moving to the left, the musical note moving around inside the TV, and the waves behind the note inside the TV spinning and changing color.
Music/Sounds: None or TBA.
Music/Sounds Variant: On This Pretty Planet: Tom Chapin Live In Concert, it's the opening theme of the program, and the closing theme on the variant.
Availability: Very rare. It was spotted on a 1992 VHS of This Pretty Planet: Tom Chapin Live In Concert. It also appears on some educational tapes like My first Cooking Video.
1st Logo (July 1993-April 11, 1995)
Logo: On a white background, we see the dark blue Sony logo. At the same time, a green (or 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 and widening itself, and stops below "SONY", revealing the word "WONDER" in the Herman font.
Variant: On the 1994 VHS of Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S. Cry of the Coda, a still of the logo is seen with "ALSO AVAILABLE FROM" above it in the same color as the Sony logo. This is after the initial logo's sequence ends.
FX/SFX: The box bouncing, the spreading and widening.
Music/Sounds: None, except for the variant listed above, which has an announcer saying "Also available from Sony Wonder."
Availability: Rare. It can be seen on pre-1995 Nickelodeon tapes from the era, which are easily available on Amazon and eBay. The later Nickelodeon tapes (the ones that say "Nickelodeon Video") have the next logo. Also seen on VHS tapes of A Bunch of Munsch, Dog City, Wild C.A.T.S., Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, and Tales from the Cryptkeeper.
Legacy: Is notable for appearing on Nickelodeon tapes prior to Viacom's purchase of Paramount.
2nd Logo (April 18, 1995-November 7, 2006; 2007; February 25, 2014-)
Logo: We see a cloudy background playing backwards, with the Sun glowing behind it. The word "WONDER" (in the Herman font, more simple from before), in a purple ribbon, then flies from the top-right to the bottom of the screen, turning in the process. The ribbon then turns blue when stopping at the near center, and we see 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, while the CGI sun "wiggles." The end result is almost the same as the first logo.
- 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, which was changed on later releases. The sun also became a brighter yellow-orange.
- 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 Canadian releases of PBS Kids shows like Caillou and Zoboomafoo, alongside TV shows like Mega Babies and the third season of The Kidsongs Television Show).
- One where we fade in 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.
FX/SFX: The ribbon flying in and the sun and the Sony text both appearing. For the still widescreen version, none.
Music/Sounds: When the logo starts, we hear a riveting string note being 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, with some samples produced on the E-mu Proteus 2 Orchestral digital synthesizer.
- 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 Nickelodeon 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, a 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.
- 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.
- Being their only release to use this variant, on the 2003 DVD of Zoe's Dance Moves, 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 release didn't have this, as it used the normal music.
Availability: Common. It can be seen on many Sony Wonder tapes and DVDs from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, along with TV shows as well.
- Tapes and DVDs 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!.
- 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. However, don't expect this to appear on any Big Idea tapes or DVDs they released.
- The short version is ultra rare. It was seen on international TV airings of Generation O! years ago, as well as the third season of The Kidsongs Television Show. Also seen on Mega Babies following the CinéGroupe and Landmark Ent. Group logos and Fat Dog Mendoza, as well as Canadian releases of a few PBS Kids shows like Caillou and Zoboomafoo. It also appears on Tubi's print of Santa Mouse and the Ratdeer.
- It made appearances on the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's releases of Holly Hobbie And Friends - 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 Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale and The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today (the Christmas special has the Stage 6 Films logo instead).
3rd Logo (November 14, 2006-August 28, 2007)
Logo: On a white background, we see a crudely drawn gold circle that zooms incredibly close to the screen, then pans back, followed by rapid flashing. Several lines appear across the circle, turning it into a sun, then spin around. The lines 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 wiggle around (just like the animation style of the Cartoon Network show Ed, Edd n Eddy).
Variant: On some releases, the text "sonywonder.com" (in grey) fades in under the "WONDER" text.
FX/SFX: Computer animation by Bemis Balkind.
Music/Sounds: We hear a quick jet zooming sound, then multiple xylophone notes and a "TWING!" as the circular sun zooms back. As the sun spins around, we hear several drum taps, then three bouncing sounds. Two "dwong" sounds are heard as the Sony Wonder logo is finally formed, followed by an ascending twinkle.
Availability: Rare. 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 likely appears on the documentary The World According to Sesame Street as well.
- It also appears on several Canadian Caillou DVDs 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)
Logo: On a lighted environment background (similar to the website at the time), we see white words that spell "Sony wonder", in the same plain, bold font like the print logo at the time (with a black drop-shadow at the right) on the center of the screen.
FX/SFX: None, except the fade in and out.
Availability: Extremely rare. It was only seen on Playmobil: The Secret of Pirate Island.