Between Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, High School Musical and the Princesses, girls drive most of the merchandising sales for Disney. And yet Disney Channel's audience is 40% male. So naturally they hired a "kid whisperer."

According to the New York Times, Kelly Peña and a "team of anthropologists" are trying to help the Walt Disney Company be relevant to boys. They've got a new channel and website, Disney XD, which seems to have a skateboarding theme.


But with the exception of Cars and Pirates Of The Caribbean, most of Disney's major successes — while called "family friendly" — are really marketed to girls. What does it say about Disney that they're shilling stuff like princess fantasies and body-dysmorphia-inducing dolls, while the boys play with cars and pirates? The Times claims that boys 6 to 14 account for $50 billion in spending worldwide; the "kid whisperer" discovered that boys like to "push boundaries," have "fun with a purpose," and really like to "crash," which means after a long day of doing nothing, they do nothing. How will Disney find a way to put a price on that?

Disney Expert Uses Science to Draw Boy Viewers [NY Times]