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Coins Commemorate Mickey Mouse
By Kerry Rodgers, World Coin News
March 18, 2014

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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In 1928 Mickey and Minnie Mouse made their first talkie starring in “Steamboat Willie.”

The film came complete with a post-produced synchronized soundtrack and was the first cartoon widely distributed film to have this feature.

Many regard this movie’s release at the Colony Theatre in New York on Nov. 18, 1928 as marking the debut of Mickey Mouse, even though the two had appeared together earlier in a film “Plane Crazy.”

New Zealand Mint has now commemorated this historic event in coin. Two have been struck for Niue: a 22.6 mm, 1/4 oz .9999 fine gold $25 and a 40.10 mm, 1 oz .999 fine silver $2. Mintages are 1,000 and 10,000 respectively.

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The film was produced in black-and-white by Walt Disney Studios between July and September 1928 with a budget of $4,986. It was directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks with Walt Disney performing all of the voices despite there being little intelligible dialogue. The storyline is a parody of the 1928 Buster Keaton film “Steamboat Bill Jr.”

The film was distributed by Celebrity Productions and its initial run lasted two weeks for which Disney received $500 a week.

The film was roundly acclaimed for its technical innovation but also criticized for its humorous depiction of cruelty to animals. Despite the criticism, its acclaim saw two earlier Mickey films being given wide releases as sound cartoons.

Interested collectors can contact New Zealand Mint directly via the web:; phone: +64 9 377 6837; fax: +64 9 377 6836.


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