» » The Voyage of the Mimi

Short summary

The Voyage of the Mimi is a thirteen-episode American educational television program depicting the crew of the Mimi exploring the ocean and taking a census of humpback whales. Ben Afleck starred in the series.

Peter Marston, who played Captain Granville, is a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and actually owned the Mimi at the time the series was made. The Mimi was sold in 1999.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Runehammer
    I don't usually write comments, but since the one that was originally on here was so negative, racist and bizarre in general I thought I would write a little something.

    I used to watch this show when I was little and I remember enjoying it. I think it was on PBS. It was about a boy who was getting in trouble at home so they sent him on the ship with his grandfather (or some sort of relative) to "keep him out of trouble". It was educational and at the end Ben Affleck would tell you a little something new about the sea or boats or what have you. It wasn't rocket science and it was made for kids so if you are an adult, you might not like it and it may be dated by now. Just keep in mind that is made for kids and much like Dragon Tales or any of the new PBS fare, it may seem trivial and absurd to adults.
  • comment
    • Author: breakingthesystem
    First saw the program on PBS. As a teacher I recognized the motivational value as a classroom tool. Consequently while looking thru a closet in our defunct computer classroom I found the materials for the first voyage. I then proceeded to find a classroom teacher willing to work with me on using the program. (I was the Reading Specialist.) Since that time I have used both the first and second voyages in several classrooms and returned to a classroom of my own in order to continue using the programs. I have added the novel Treasure Island as a literature component. Currently I am seeking a way to update the info taught thru each of the voyages and to expand the cross-curricular activities used by my students. Although 20 years old I still find the story lines engaging on many levels and suggest either program appropriate for an inclusion classroom.
  • comment
    • Author: Zieryn
    This movie is a total classic. Few other movies combine education, entertainment, dramatic tension, and wonderful highs as well as this work.

    Many will want to watch this movie because it stars a young Ben Affleck (that is, until they see Gigli, so I understand). And Ben is terrific as the young CT Granville. When he's searching around the boat for his Grandfather ("Granpa") we feel his angst. However, the most memorable characters are Artie, the "urban" (re: Black) computer expert, and Rachel, the troubled teen. They are the definite stars, along with the deaf girl who eats a lot of peanut butter.

    This movie is educational in both its deep exploration of the topic of marine biology, and also as a piece of social commentary. Take for example the scene when Artie is saying good-bye to his family. Artie leaves without his behemothic boom box because he arrives an hour late, (Artie being an hour late is an obvious allusion to the racial tensions of the Reagan era), a scene that is clearly a metaphor for African American youth abandoning their cultural heritage in order to pursue their professional ambitions. However, Artie's little brother, the symbol of his enlightened new generation, portrayed by a young Denzel Washington look-alike, rejects Artie's Faustian choice and exclaims "Hey Artie, you forgot your radio!" Artie returns to the car, grabs his radio/soul, and then is off to adventure on the high seas.

    This movie is very hard to find, so I am not very comfortable recommending it to others. Perhaps it may be found in your local library or elementary school. If you can find it, watch at least the first episode, as it worthwhile to see a young Ben Affleck and know that 20 years later, that little kid is getting it on with J.Lo.
  • comment
    • Author: Mightsinger
    I read the other comment on this series, and am appalled at the comments made by that person. This is an excellent series on geography and is designed to be used as a visual aid in geography classes. Yes, the getting lost part is funny, but that is a tongue in cheek type of thing. I enjoyed it and I'm not a kid. Ben Affleck went on to become famous, of course, so perhaps the person who reviewed this did not like Mr. Affleck. In any case, it is very good for its type, and well worth watching. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to use visual aids in their teaching of geography or social science classes. You might just want to watch it to see Ben Affleck as a kid. :)
  • comment
    • Author: grand star
    Unlike many of the commentators who've put their two cents in on this show, I didn't become acquainted with "The Voyage of the Mimi" because of it being shown in any of my classes. Instead, I got to watch it because I was a PBS fanatic when I was a little kid and this was one of the shows that aired during the "children's block" of the decade I was a little kid, i.e. the '80s.

    My recollections of the show were as follows: little boy gets invited to take part in a sea voyage led by the boy's captain grandfather. Said voyage, including in it several people who looked to be of high school or college age, takes a long while. Voyage takes detours along the way to explore various places relating to sea life and sailing/yachting. The little boy, who was played by a very young Ben Affleck, sticks out in my mind the most because of the fact that I (quite embarrassingly) had wanted to be *friends* with his little boy character when I was a little girl. Ah, what simple and innocent memories.

    In terms of the quality of the show -- well, it certainly wasn't going to have great acting or brilliant scripts, but then again its target audience (little children) wasn't going to demand that either. I found myself quite enraptured of that program when I was young because it taught me things while involving me in a story and because I was a PBS nut anyway. "The Voyage of the Mimi" certainly shouldn't be considered prime material for showing to eighth graders -- younger children such as second or third graders would probably be the better viewing audience. It's simple, it's fun, and heck, if your little girl only dreams of being *friends* with a young Ben Affleck, that should be better, right?
  • comment
    • Author: Olwado
    I watched this when I was in Grade 5, and I liked it. It was interesting to see a gawky version of Ben Affleck parade around, and the films weren't just educational--they were interesting, each charactar having a story to tell. I would recommend it for kids in their early teens and below.
  • comment
    • Author: Άνουβις
    This was a fabulous show. I watched it as an adult with my baby sister and learned *so* much. Even today, years later I can remember lessons I learned on "Voyage of the Mimi" about whales, whale tagging and whale songs, but the show was about so much more than whales. I learned about sailing, sign language, research methods, the top of Mount Washington, hypothermia and so much more. When watching documentaries, to this day, I often see eminent scientists that I first "met" on "Voyage of the Mimi," such as Ken Balcomb and Sylvia Earle. The first part of the episode would often introduce a subject which would then be carried through to the expedition afterward. Those segments were full of information interesting to both adults and children. This show is so much more than a curiosity and a place to see a young Ben Affleck, (although I thought he was a good actor even then). If you want to learn more about the sea, whales, scientific research and even what it's like going to a college for the deaf, "Voyage of the Mimi" is a great place to get started. It certainly led to many avenues of interest and fields of inquiry for me.
  • comment
    • Author: Xinetan
    Here's the deal with Voyage of the Mimi: It embodies all that television should be without caving into some corporate idea of entertainment. In no episode will you find C.T. portrayed as anything other than a fairly typical New England child forced to travel with his Grandfather on a humpback whale expedition. While the episode is broken up into a narrative segment and an instructional segment, I can honestly tell you that growing up in Minnesota I had zero clue of oceanic careers until this show aired on our local PBS channel on weekday mornings. While this show was no where near as landmark as Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, or 321 Contact for me, it provided an essential method of making basic biology, zoology, and life science compelling for a child. Does it double as a lesson plan for a lazy 6th grade teacher? Maybe. Who cares? The anti-Mimi folks didn't have to work for 30 minutes thereby preparing themselves for a lifetime of hating perfectly banal things. Sad evidence of a society slowing deteriorating. Peace out.
  • comment
    • Author: Zadora
    This program was clearly intended for educating a young (in years) audience, not a mentally immature adult. With that in mind you should have no hesitation in watching this program with your children. My children enjoyed every episode, in spite of the less-than-quality acting. The main thrill for them (and for me) came from watching the interactions between the human researchers and the whales, which were the main research target of the Mimi scientists. A subtle, but perhaps even more important aspect of the series is the message that the discovery of our world, driven by the methods of science, can accomodate anyone, regardless of race or sex. The main requirements for such discovery are curiosity about the natural world, the courage to seek adventure, and intelligence to solve problems. If you emphasize these concepts to your children, you will have directed them along the path that the series obviously intended.
  • comment
    • Author: Fenrikree
    The other day in my Integrated Science class my teacher showed my class a taping of a TV show called "The Voyage of the Mimi" Since I have a crush on Mr. Ben Affleck, I naturally was excited to see his earlier work. I watched and was amazed at how informative and accurate the show was! After the show we had a test.......I got an A!
  • comment
    • Author: Ahieones
    "Voyage of the Mimi" cannot be properly assessed without first considering how it was supposed to be viewed. "Mimi" was education of the worst kind: "edutainment." Each episode came in three parts.

    The first was a 15-minute episode where our plucky crew dealt with the tedium of sealife and tried to pretend that there is anything interesting about old-school naturalists. Sure, maybe each week CT would grow closer to his grumpy grandpa, Captain Granville, and maybe we kept hoping that all the seawater would finally melt the bitchiness off Rachel, but really nothing happened. It was basically a simplistic plot with no second act that was peppered with exposition about how people monitor whales and sail in boats.

    The second part--the "expeditions"--was another 15 minutes, rounding the runtime to 30 minutes, just like a real tv show. In this part, the actors played themselves and went and talked to the various scientists whose research made the show possible. So sure, maybe Ben Affleck gets to talk to some curators at the Smithsonian (reading from his cue cards about it being the "nation's attic" with embarrassing seriousness), but these expeditions were merely topically amusing and completely devoid of any real substance.

    The third part is always overlooked. It's nice to recall the campy acting and the jazzy shanty music during the show, but every episode (the first two parts) was just leading up to the REAL gist of the "Mimi": the classroom exercise. "Mimi" was designed so that you get information about techniques in the "episode", you get information about concepts in the "expedition", and afterward you filled out worksheets while the teacher smoked in the bathroom. The department of education created `Mimi' as a government-sanctioned form of busy-work. While it's one thing to criticize all PBS children's programming as trite and ultimately irrelevant to underlying concepts, `Mimi' did something else. The kids on `3-2-1 Contact' were illustrating scientific principles and practices to entice us and encourage our own exploration and investigation. `Mimi' forced us to replicate Capt. Granville's bread-timing to determine velocity and write several sentences explaining how ocean mapping works. It *never* encouraged any form of original or creative thought. `Mimi' basically said if you like recording numbers out in some seaplane while your partner takes pictures of whale-flippers, you have the brainlessness to be a naturalist.

    Being sentimental strips `Mimi' of the derision it deserves. Ultimately it failed because the teachers themselves couldn't stand to finish showing the episodes, much less pretend that their students cared one iota for the intrepid crew. At best, `Voyage of the Mimi' was an infomercial for funding certain scientific industries and tricking poor 4th graders into liking naturalism.
  • comment
    • Author: Jediathain
    I watched this entire series (yes, and the sequel) in middle school. Sure, we made fun of it - and that incredibly annoying theme song - (ten years later and just thinking about it still pierces my skull) but honestly, it wasn't that bad. It was, afterall, an hour-long escape from classwork. It was actually somewhat interesting, and all in all, I'm glad I saw it.

    Something I have to mention: I first saw this in 1993 in my eighth-grade class. The guys all liked to make fun of the girls by saying "You have a crush on C.T.!" and even went so far as to prank call every girl in the class with the line "Hi, I'm Ben Affleck, and I want you to come with me on my next voyage of the Mimi!" Hey, who knew?
  • comment
    • Author: Flower
    I remember watching this movie when I was in fourth grade (about 15 years ago) for a part of our whale unit, and recall that I enjoyed it immensely. It was an engaging plot for a movie based around a whale research vessel, and I don't mind admitting that my nine year-old self had a bit of a crush on the then child star Ben Affleck. While it's not necessarily a great film for the adult viewer, and is by now certainly showing its age, for children who are interested in maritime experiences and whales, it's a more than a diversion, and probably a good way to spend a few afternoons. Not for the film critic (obviously), especially since the acting is definitely mediocre at best, but certainly a pleasant view for those of us under the age of 12.
  • comment
    • Author: Frei
    I saw the Voyage of the Mimi (both seasons) as an adult (I'm a PBS nut, as well as a children's programming/lit. nut), & truly loved it! (I may well have felt differently if I'd had it as schoolwork & was tested on it, but I doubt it.) One of my nieces was preparing to study marine biology at the time, so I followed it with interest--I loved the theme song too, LOL! My niece never has gotten to see it, but interestingly is now doing the exact thing the 'scientists' on the Mimi were illustrating--working as assistant manager of the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue, sorting & classifying photos of whale flukes from the North Atlantic population (she is also the assistant stranding director for the northern part of Maine). My husband also loved the show, & we both agreed that Ben Affleck was going to wow the gals when he got older--we called it! I enjoyed the story as well as the science segments, & we were both impressed with how game Ben was for these--will never forget them sticking him shirtless in a wind tunnel with temp sensors all over him to document his impending hypothermia, or having him bang rime ice off the weather station equipment on Mt. Washington in a full gale--definitely a plucky guy, even in his youth. Highly recommend this as fun and informative for younger viewers (but maybe hold the tests, pls!).
  • comment
    • Author: Bludsong
    If you're a Massachusetts child of the '90s, as I am, chances are you've seen "Voyage of the Mimi." Much of it was produced on the shores of our fine state. It even features a young Ben Affleck (in one of his best performances), back when he was just a kid from Cambridge.

    The formula is simple: Put a bunch of completely different people on a boat for a couple months and watch them fight, make up, and learn from each other.

    Even in seventh grade, I thought it was incredibly corny. However, for some reason, it stuck with me. My friends and I, to this day, sing the theme song to each other, and laugh hysterically at all of the characters. It did have its educational value though. It promotes tolerance, and gives the watcher some scientific knowledge as well. If I were to recommend this, I would show it to 4th or 5th graders, before they become jaded enough to realize how hackneyed it is.

    Warning: if you watch it, you may hum that theme song every day for the rest of your life.
  • comment
    • Author: Najinn
    I was in the 4th grade when my class watched each episode of this series, spread out over several weeks. At the time I was just starting to become interested in Whales and everything related to the sea, so as an impressionable 9 year old, I thoroughly loved this series, and more than 15 years later, I still remember it vividly. Little did I know at the time, but the little kid in it (Ben Affleck) would actually grow up to become a huge star. And may I just say, as a 12 year old, and after looking at the filth he churned out later in life, this may have been his best acting job :)......I was forever enamored with the Humpback Whale because of this show. And even though I haven't seen any of the episodes since the 4th grade (in large part because it is not easy to find), It had an impact on me that lasts until this day.
  • comment
    • Author: Matty
    As a student in MD, I learned quite alot from this series. People thought it was boring (which at some parts was true) but I liked it. Kinda. Well, if you want to teach 6-8th graders something about Science/Oceanography or need to grade some papers, put them infront of this. Give a quiz or two. This has a certain "Pearl Harbor" star (though it sucks). Other's too. See this film teachers, and check out "The Second Voyage of The Mimi" also.
  • comment
    • Author: OTANO
    Our biology teacher showed us this in middle school, so that not only could we learn about marine life and the ocean, but also learn sign language, she said eagerly at the start of the series.

    By the time it was over, even she was apologizing.

    This was bad, bad, bad. Normally, school kids will leap at the chance to watch a TV program, so they won't have to do real work. That's one of the reasons 'Square One,' '3-2-1 Contact,' and most especially, 'Bill Nye The Science Guy,' are so beloved.

    This, however, had us dreading the start of each bio class, for it meant another gut-wrenching high-seas voyage on the Mimi. We regularly debated which was worse, the writing or the acting.

    Again: bad, bad, bad. Teachers, stay away.
  • comment
    • Author: Cerar
    I remember the day my teacher in fifth grade told us that we were going to watch this movie since we were studying the ocean. She said that Ben Affleck was in it. "Some of you may know him from 'Good Will Hunting.'" But I had no idea who that was. Now I'm a big fan...

    But anyway. I really did not like this movie/show. Maybe since it was educational, I do not know. My friends and I used to make up stories about things like "Jaws Meets Voyage of the Mimi." And recently, my little brother had to watch it. It's safe to say he reacted the same way I did...
  • comment
    • Author: Mr.Death
    In sixth grade, every teacher I had decided it would be a great idea to make this movie the curriculum for an entire semester. Every class had something to do with this terrible show. We watched it in English and wrote in journals as if we were one of the characters. In math we talked about charts and other sea crap. In science we talked about whales (which was actually somewhat interesting, so this wasn't a 100% waste of time). All day everyday was torture. Not only that, but they would subject us to this horror twice a day by making us watch it in study hall as well. I could see if this was a new series or something, but it was, like, '93. I'm still trying to block this out.
  • comment
    • Author: BroWelm
    We watched this in short serial installments in my 7th grade science class in 1990 and as I recall there were teaching materials that went along with it. It was a blend of interesting science content and a story about a diverse group of kids on an educational sailing voyage on which they encounter whales and peril which famously necessitates an innocent and archetypal instance of the "get naked in a sleeping bag together" hypothermia remedy.

    It was a fun and high quality production that is probably on a par with the Spanish-class "Destinos" series. and I remember the "experience" of Voyage of the Mimi fondly. I had no idea till reading this page that C.T. was Ben Affleck. I do recall that Captain Granville (not his real name) was in real life the owner of the lovely ship Mimi. And I still remember the theme tune quite clearly, it is one of those things that after 13 episodes has permanently seared itself onto your neurons.
  • comment
    • Author: Querlaca
    They made me watch this in school and it was terrible. The movie is outdated. The episodes become confusing because fact is combined with fiction to make the story more interesting.The teachers talked about it as a treat but really it was a painfully boring experience.I have read that very few people who appear in this are actors, but most of them them do what they do in the movie in real life.This accounts for cheesy acting very often. Also, very often the story becomes mildly outrageous and far-fetched. I don't like the way some of the lines were written and wish they had more meaning to them. Though, it was written to be educational, funny, suspenseful, and hip, It ended up being boring, dry, far-fetched, and old. I hope no one takes time to watch this movie because you would be just fine not seeing it.
  • comment
    • Author: SmEsH
    I watched ben and the other guys in voyage of the mimi during elementary school. It was almost as funny as watching ryan phillipe in deadly invasion:the killer bee attack on fox years ago! This was a very interesting series but I don't think it was oscar say the least.
  • comment
    • Author: Yellow Judge
    Wow, I didn't know that other schools made that part of the curriculum. I watched probably 10 or so episodes in my elementary school science class, but had no idea that it had ben affleck in it...that's amazing.
  • comment
    • Author: The Sphinx of Driz
    You will more than likely only see this piece of crap if you are in high school, and your teacher has been showing this video (in its many parts) for years. Its like 30 hours long, and is about Ben Afflek (who is maybe 8 or 10) on a ship that gets ever so conveniently lost at sea. of course, the main stage of this video is not the actors, or the acting quality, but latitude, longitude and other garbage. They eat peanut butter sandwiches with an everlasting and also oh-so-convenient supply of peanut butter. This is good for laughs - especially the horrible theme music, some captain ahab/Patriotic reject notation, and my sides, they are a splittin'...
  • Series cast summary:
    Ben Affleck Ben Affleck - C.T. Granville unknown episodes
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