Mistress Masham's Repose was a film based on the 1946 novel of the same name by T.H. White that was being developed at Disney in the 1980s by Joe Hale, a verteran Disney animator who would eventually produce The Black Cauldron. Animator Andreas Deja did some preliminary character designs for it.
As in the source story, Maria, a ten-year-old orphan girl lives on a large estate known as Malplaquet. Her life is not a happy one because her guardian, a fat, uncaring vicar by the name of Mr. Hater, always leaves her in the hands of her prim, strict governess Miss Brown. The only two caring people that Maria has in her life are Miss Noakes, the household cook and a retired professor who lives out in the garden.
To help herself feel better, Maria often takes long walks throughout the estate's grounds. One day, to her delight, she discovers an island out in the middle of a small lake which is inhabited by Lilliputians, or little people. Each one of them quickly becomes friends with Maria and help her to have fun in her day to day life.
- DisneyWar: The Battle for Magic Kingdom by Stewart, James B., Simon and Schuster, Dec 9, 2008