"This is such a personal project," says Burton, explaining that the story is "based on my relationship that I had when I was a child with my dog -- that's probably your first big relationship in your life."
In theaters October 5, Frankenweenie is the story of Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan), a young boy who unexpectedly loses his dog Sparky. Determined to bring him back to life, he sets up a laboratory in his attic and manages to stitch him up and reanimate the beloved creature. But when Sparky gets loose, the entire town learns that getting a new "leash" on life can be monstrous.
"Victor's a very internal boy, a bit of a mad scientist as well, which is always good," explains Burton.
The film returns Burton to the familiar stop-motion-animated stomping ground that he pioneered with The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, and he muses, "The animators are taking a lifeless puppet and making it come to life, so it kind of mirrors the Frankenstein story."