PALM BEACH, Florida: The Walt Disney Company has a long tradition of promoting the merits of a fairytale-like existence to girls, but now the Mouse House is launching a slew of initiatives targeting an as-yet elusive audience: boys aged 6–14 years old.

The company will rebrand its cable and digital channel Toon Disney as Disney XD next month, offering programs like Aaron Stone, based around action, adventure and videogames, and skateboarding show Zeke & Luther.

It will also launch a new website,, featuring music, games, videos and social networking capabilities, with the company's sports arm ESPN also likely to be involved in providing content in the future.

Says Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide: "We looked at the landscape and feel that girls are being served – if not superserved – and preschoolers are also well served, but boys really haven't been.

"If boys have been served, it's been mostly in animation, which [is] only a narrow portion of what boys are interested in."

Toon Disney is currently available in around 72 million households in the US.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff