Steamboat Willie is the cartoon that officially debuted Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It is an animated short film directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks and released on November 18, 1928. It is one of the first cartoons with synchronized sound and a fully post-produced soundtrack.  

Promotional Poster | Source: Disney / Wikipedia

 The success of Steamboat Willie led to Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney garnering international fame. The iconic opening scene, where Mickey is whistling “Steamboat Bill” and piloting Steamboat Willie, has been featured in many Disney works. It has also been parodied and referenced by many animated and live action works, including The Simpsons and Saving Private Ryan. Its release date, November 18, is considered the official birthday of Mickey Mouse. 

The Simpsons Parody | Source: The Simpsons / FOX

Steamboat Willie is listed as part of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, a list selected by a group of 1,000 cartoon historians, animation professionals, and film critics. The film is also inducted into the National Film Registry in 1998. It will also enter public domain in 1924.  

Disney $1 Dollar | 2002 | Source: Banknote World Educational

Niue has issued many commemorative coins that feature Steamboat Willie. Here are some of them.  

Niue 25 Dollars | 2014 | Steamboat Willie | Source: Numista

The 25-dollar coin from 2014 is a golden coin that is part of the Mickey Through the Ages series. It features Queen Elizabeth II in front and a still frame of the iconic opening scene of Steamboat Willie at the back.

Niue $5 Dollars | 2018 | Source: Numista

The 5-dollar coin from 2018 commemorates the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse. It is a silver coin that features Queen Elizabeth II and a scene from the cartoon at the back.

Niue 2 Dollars | 2023 | Source: Numista

The 2-dollar coin from 2023 commemorates Disney’s 100th anniversary. It is a silver coin that is shaped like a stamp. It features the public seal of Niue in front and the opening scene from the cartoon, the Disney 100 logo, and the Walt Disney logo at the back.

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