Sunday, February 08, 2009

Disney XD

Say goodbye to Toon Disney, invented long ago to compete with Cartoon Network and Nick. Poor old TD was shut away in a closet filled with mothballs on Friday, and Disney XD rolled out to replace it.

You can also say goodbye to all those musty, old cartoons.

...Unlike Toon Disney, which was driven by its cartoon genre, Disney XD will be driven more by themes to create a brand. "This notion of the boy who is evolving, who is achieving, who is leveling up to the next stage, this is a dynamic that boys really fundamentally understand. It's how they live their lives. It's how they approach their future."

Disney XD's first original series, "Aaron Stone" (7 p.m. Friday), follows the adventures of teen-ager Charlie Landers (Kelly Blatz), who has mastered the online game "Hero Rising." Charlie is enlisted by the game's creator to become a real-life crime fighter. He's assisted in his tasks by the android S.T.A.N. (J.P. Manoux), whose name stands for Sentient Tactical Assisting Neo-Human. Other characters include Charlie's brother, Jason (David Lambert), and his friend, Emma (Tania Gunadi).

"The notion that you could target boys particularly and give them a destination for themselves is something that seemed absolutely like virgin real estate in the cable community," [Disney Channels Worldwide entertainment president Gary] Marsh said at a Disney XD press conference last month.

Well, I'm a long way from being a teenaged boy, but I'm raising one at home, and trust me. This isn't "virgin real estate" that Disney XD is plowing. There's Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim", and big chunks of Nick's lineup, also the Fox Sunday night animated block that's already locked in the eyeballs of lots of teenaged males.

Disney seems to think that live-action shows about boy gamers and the robots who love them are going to turn the trick. But I'm here to tell the boys and girls at the Mouse House, teenagers of the male persuasion are much more interested in animated fat guys who do lots of fart, sex and vomit jokes. And Seth McFarlane has a hammer-lock on those things, not Disney XD.

But good luck to them. And we'll see how the kid live-action shows pan out.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It seems as if all the TV studios are now catering to the tween boys. I think it's a huge mistake. These TV shows will not be able to compete with the awesomeness of video games. And as for comedy, all the tweens will go to Family Guy or South Park, anything else is lame to them.

Bushido Hacks said...

Why are they doing this? Because somewhere there is someone who still believe that this stuff is "XTREEEEME!"

And we all know how "little boys love that XTREEEEME MARKETING!" and how moms love to pay $150 for a jar of Ritalin. (Catch them while they're young, they'll be addicted for life.)

Of course they will say that it is "all for the kids."

Anonymous said...

And it's far cheaper to produce.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or This reboot - is gonna split the Disney Channel audience in half? But then again they still will not get enough eyeballs to the channel, for one simple reason. More female teens then there are male ones.

This isnt without precedent - Bchannel and GChannel back when Saban was making you unions guys rancared. That didnt go well. Disney would want the world, but will fall short of the goal.

Speaking of AS, and Family Guy - AS states its for 18-24 but last few years its anything but. Family Guy hasnt been that good in years and their use of 30's to 80's pop culture motifs flies over the heads of most young folk - they just like how much they can get away with - thats all the show really is for anyway.

Anonymous said...

It took Cartoon Network years to develop a competent variety of themed programming, Disney XD shouldn't be too much of a surprise in that manner. But themed programming is easier to market (and I agree, perhaps cheaper to produce as well).

I'm not so much disappointed by the shift in program development for Disney XD as I am with the Disney Channels U.S. apparent abandoning of the young male demographic for Disney Channel... It's obvious that there's a substantial young female audience for DC (U.S.), but are they throwing in the towel altogether?

Anonymous said...

Aaron--can you explain what the "competent variety of themed programming" is that CN spent years developing?

Anonymous said...

"It took Cartoon Network years to develop a competent variety of themed programming"

... and only a few years to completely destroy it.

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