The Voyage of the Mimi

Posted by Tina on September 30, 2014

I remember watching The Voyage of the Mimi each day during elementary school. The show eased the hour right before lunch, when I would have otherwise been fixated on my Lunchables Pizza and jockeying for position at the Cool Table (Who am I kidding? All I need is you, quiet corner and three copies of Goosebumps.)

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According to Mental Floss,

Thirty years ago this month, The Voyage of the Mimi debuted on PBS. The groundbreaking educational science series, part of the curriculum of many elementary and high school students, captivated kids throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, spawned a sequel, and kicked off Ben Affleck’s career.votm-tent_0

Here are a few things you might not have known about The Voyage of the Mimi , including many juicy tidbits about the show’s production. For example:

  • According to producer Jeffery Nelson, Mimi was shot at sea on a remote island off the coast of Maine, with a cast that consisted mostly of children, and that was highly dependent on the cooperation of whales and weather, both of which featured prominently in the story.

“There were many scenes that involved whales, and we needed to have lots of good weather as well as a big storm at sea,” says Nelson. “What if the actors got seasick? What if the whales never appeared? What if there was no big storm? Or worse, what if we got a monster storm that would endanger the cast and crew? There were all these elements over which we had no control. These were not typical challenges for a children’s TV show.”

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  • The Mimi, an old tuna trawler that had been converted into a sailboat, belonged to MIT professor Peter Marston. Marston was such an interesting character with his bushy beard and his experience as a skipper and scientist, that they asked him to join the cast.
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  • The crew was tiny. It was shot on 16mm with just a few people to help: an assistant cameraman, a sound man, a lighting guy, a continuity person, and a producer. You can’t fit many more people than that on the Mimi.

Check out the full article here.