, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

February 23, 2009

An Oscar shout-out

'WALL-E' director praises Rockport teacher in acceptance speech

ROCKPORT — Writer and director Andrew Stanton thanked his wife, children and colleagues while accepting the Academy Award for best animated feature film, "WALL-E," in Hollywood's Kodak Theater on Sunday night.

But the Rockport native's gratitude also extended 3,000 miles east to Cape Ann, where his former high school drama teacher, Phil Perry, sat weeping in his living room upon hearing Stanton thank him by name during the acceptance speech.

"He caught me and made me cry," Perry said yesterday, from his East Gloucester home. "I got telephone calls until 11 p.m. and it started again (Monday) morning. I wasn't surprised at all that he (Stanton) would succeed ... I've always been very proud of him."

Sunday's Oscar was Stanton's second — he first won in 2003 for "Finding Nemo" — and his honor proved to be the only win of the night for the robot romance "WALL-E," which was nominated for six awards, including another nod to Stanton for best original screenplay.

"It's been such an inspiration to spend time with a character who so tenaciously struggles to find the beauty in everything that he sees. It's a noble aspiration to have at times like these," Stanton said from the podium.

"I dearly want to thank everyone that's been on this film: the cast, the crew, everybody at Disney and Pixar Studios. To my wife Julie, my kids Ben and Audrey, I love you so much — and I guess I'd be remiss if I did not thank my high school drama teacher Phil Perry for 28 years ago casting me as Barnaby in 'Hello, Dolly!'

"Creative seeds are sown in the oddest of places," he added.

Perry, 74, started the drama department at Rockport High School after starting as a chemistry teacher in 1962. Stanton impressed Perry both academically as a student in his science class and as an actor in "Hello, Dolly!," Stanton's first major role.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security