Disney cartoons not hypnotic enough for boys

Entertainment targetted at young boys has become so highly evolved — replete with gore, action, loud music and other hypno-tainment — that Disney films can't compete. That's the theory behind Disney's dismal quarterly results, anyway. In any event, this can't bode well for dark-ride fans like me who bemoan the encroachment of no-brainer coasters at the Disney theme-parks. On the other hand, maybe this spells the end for sappy Phil Collins soundtracks to Disney cartoons.

More pointedly, has Disney lost boy viewers to the likes of "Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam," a sensory-overload arena show featuring thrash music, choreographed skateboard tricks, motocross motorcycle jumping and BMX bike acrobatics? Another correlative possibility: that "Treasure Planet" was so long in production — it was dreamed up 17 years ago — that it was bypassed by the explosion of turbocharged video games that didn't exist five years ago, which remain largely the province of boys.

"I think there's a lot more (boys entertainment) now than there was some years back and that the stuff that is available is a lot edgier and is a lot more advanced for the (age group) Disney was targeting," said Tom Wolzien, a media analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "Let's say they were targeting 8- to 13-year-olds, hypothetically. Well, now your audience is reduced to single digits (in age) because by the time kids are 10, they're off doing something else" than watching Disney films…

"Today's kids were raised by Viacom," Wolzien said, naming Nickelodeon's parent company, "not Disney."