The curtain comes down on what has been a fine numismatic tribute to Walt Disney’s biggest creation, Mickey Mouse. The eighth coin in a set featuring many of the rodents most iconic performances from the 1930’s to the 1980’s, Mickey Through the Ages has encapsulated much of what people find appealing about the character. It’s perhaps fitting that the last coin should also showcase the newest of the movies to be highlighted in precious metal, the 1983 movie, Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
Premiered in 1983, this animated featurette was an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge. The first Mickey Mouse theatrical cartoon in over 30 years, it’s particularly poignant as the final time in which Clarence Nash voiced Donald Duck. He was the last of the original voice actors, the last having died four years earlier. It was also the first time that actor Alan Young had voiced Scrooge McDuck, something he continued to do until his death in 2016.
With a full cast from Disneys iconic pantheon, it recieved a mixed critical reaction, but was popular and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1984. It was the first time that a Mickey Mouse featurette had been nominated since way back in 1948 when Mickey and the Seal also lost out on a Oscar to a Tom and Jerry cartoon.It was to be a seven year wait until the next Mickey film was produced with the 1990 Prince and the Pauper.
If you’ve been following this series or seen at least one of the previous issues, there are no surprises here. The usual 1 oz proof coloured silver ($85), along with uncoloured gold coins of 1 oz ($2,500), ¼ oz ($620) and 0.5g ($75), all beautifully packaged and with a certificate of authenticity. It’s an absolutely classic Disney pose for the character, choosing to focus exclusively on a portrait and ignoring scenes from the film. It’s a bold design and one we can’t imagine being unpopular. While I can’t say I’m a Disney fan (Where are my South Park coins…?), it’s clear that much love and attention has gone into this eight-coin range and we can’t imagine anyone else doing a better job. I know we say this a lot with NZ Mint coins, but they really are much better in the hand than the staid images portray, equally so for Star Wars. Collectors of Disney memorabilia are fortunate that the licence is in sympathetic hands and hasn’t turned into a gimmick-fest. First class. Available directly from the mint or from sponsors Minted-UK and PowerCoin.