Niue’s Classic Disney gold and silver coin series noses ahead with Pinocchio

Despite being the New Zealand Mints core Disney coin range, it’s been pretty quiet on the Disney Classic front since the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs last October. This has been a series that has remained close to traditional coin design by eschewing the use of any adornments – indeed, even colour is a rare addition (outside of the Mickey Through the Ages set). The latest to join this comprehensive series is a real classic from the Disney stable – Pinocchio.

Considered one of the finest animated movies ever made, Pinocchio long ago entered popular culture and has become an icon in this media behemoths portfolio over the years. With continuing rumours of a sequel, it’s clear that the character still resonates today and its choice for inclusion in this coin series should come as no surprise.

The same two formats are being offered again. The one-ounce fine silver coin will be the popular one, of course and depicts a charming image of Jiminy Cricket perched on a sitting Pinnochio’s foot. An iconic scene, it perfectly encapsulates the beloved movie. The second coin is a quarter-ounce fine gold one and in line with other recent issues, the NZ Mint has decided to modify the design to take better advantage of the smaller diameter of 22.0 mm (compared to 40.0 mm). Instead of reproducing the silver design in full, the gold displays a cropped version that does an admittedly better job of filling the reduced canvas. Both coins depict the usual effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse in a basic form as this mint has never been one for modifying the obverse as much as, for example, the Mint of Poland has started to do.

Packaging remains fundamentally the same for both and of a very high standard. The wooden coin box is a good quality item and the shipper boxes are sturdy and well themed. A serialised certificate of authenticity is included and mintages are capped at 10,000 for the silver and 1,000 for the gold. Prices are $85.00 USD and $620.00 USD respecively and they should be available later today. A long running series that is mining an extremely deep vein of movie history, we can imagine there’s more to come.


Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Italian children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It was the second animated feature film produced by Disney, made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

The plot of the film involves an old wood-carver named Geppetto who carves a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. The puppet is brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish”. Pinocchio’s efforts to become a real boy involve encounters with a host of unsavory characters. The film was adapted by Aurelius Battaglia, William Cottrell, Otto Englander, Erdman Penner, Joseph Sabo, Ted Sears, and Webb Smith from Collodi’s book. The production was supervised by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske, and the film’s sequences were directed by Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, and Bill Roberts. Pinocchio was a groundbreaking achievement in the area of effects animation, giving realistic movement to vehicles, machinery and natural elements such as rain, lightning, smoke, shadows and water. The film was released to theaters by RKO Radio Pictures on February 7, 1940.

Critical analysis of Pinocchio identifies it as a simple morality tale that teaches children of the benefits of hard work and middle-class values. Although it became the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award – winning two for Best Music, Original Score and for Best Music, Original Song for “When You Wish Upon a Star” – it was initially a box office disaster. It eventually made a profit in its 1945 reissue, and is considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, with a rare 100% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. The film and characters are still prevalent in popular culture, featuring at various Disney parks and in other forms of entertainment. In 1994, Pinocchio was added to the United States National Film Registry for being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. (Source: Wikipedia)

DENOMINATION $2 New Zealand $25 New Zealand
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 7.78 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm 22.0 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MINTAGE 10,000 1,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes Yes / Yes