Tim Burton has revealed one of the monsters in his film Frankenweenie is inspired by his family pet.
The film, about a boy who brings his dog back to life as part of a science experiment, was inspired by the loss of Burton's dog as a child.
But at the film's premiere at London Film Festival, the filmmaker revealed that a minor character is based on the pet he currently owns with partner Helena Bonham Carter and their two children Billy and Nell.
He said: "We have a turtle, called Shelly like in the film. We can't have a dog, really, as we travel too much."
American-born Burton, who lives in north London, saluted the artistic community of London for helping to make his film and said he now felt like a true Londoner.
"I came over in 1987 and loved it," he said.
American Express sponsors the 56th BFI London Film Festival. Information on the 2012 American Express Preferred Seating programme is available at amex.co.uk/potential