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Enough With the Princesses and Fairies: Disney Shows Boys Some Love

aaronstone1.jpgThere are 18 million boys playing online but you wouldn’t know it based on the entertainment offered by the big toy companies. Disney hopes to show boys some love by launching a website and cable TV channel that’s a departure from its more recent online worlds which have been populated by fairies and princesses.

The site and its cable TV channel, Disney XD, is targeted at boys ages 6-14 and replaces the Toon Disney channel. The new channel combines a smorgasbord of content from Disney’s more testosterone-laden properties: Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Cable Networks Group, Disney Online, and ESPN.

The XD network features sports and video games, live action games, and social networking. Theoretically, it aims to satisfy the “new boy” – one who’s a bit more sensitive and in touch than boys of yore. The company has already announced a live action game called Aaron Stone, an original series about a boy with a secret life as a crimefighter.

A few years ago I wrote a lament for boys, who’ve been marginalized into farting, burping goofballs by many media creators. Contrast them to girls from Legally Blonde to High School Musical, where they may be into shopping and frills but they’re also quite brainy.

It remains to be seen whether Disney is creating a place for the same old jerky guys or the new, sensitive 6-14 year-old. It also remains to be seen whether the opposite sex will cross the chasm and join them for a little competitive action as well.