10:51 PM EDT 11/26/2014
Originally posted 10/04/2012 05:00PM
Director Tim Burton's cannon of films has always featured elements of the supernatural or spooky, but the inspiration behind his new film Frankenweenie was, believe it or not, grounded in the real.
"I had this strong connection with a mutt we had named Pepe, and it was a good connection. Like your first love," he tells Reuters of the relationship that inspired the story about a boy named Victor who brings his beloved pet Sparky back to life.
"The dog was not meant to live very long because of a disease he had, but he ended up living quite a long time," Burton continues. "So you have this strong connection, and then you think: 'Well, how long is this going to last?' You don't really understand those concepts of death at the time."
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!