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Television: Mickey Mouse in Mandarin

1 minute read

In Mandarin their names will be pronounced “Mi-lao-shu” and “Tang-lao-ya,” but the saucer ears and orange bill will show them unmistakably to be the popular Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Beginning this week, at 6:30 every Sunday evening, the 30-minute “Mickey and Donald” animated cartoon show will be broadcast on China Central Television Network, dubbed in Mandarin. In Peking last week, Disney officials announced that the company would provide the Chinese network with 104 episodes over the next two years. Disney will give the network the show in exchange for selling two minutes of commercial time per program, worth about $20,000 a minute. Some 30 million people are expected to tune in each week.

But the real draw for Disney is a potentially huge market for the 8,000-odd different consumer products that the entertainment conglomerate sells. Among them: the Mickey Mouse Disco album, Gummi Bears toys and Pinocchio ceramic miniatures.

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