As some of you may have noticed, Disney didn't just buy LucasFilm; it promised to make yet more Star Wars films. (Not that there have been any SW films since Return of the Jedi, of course.) Allow me to modestly propose that Disney has overlooked a back catalog of intellectual properties that could be easily adapted into animated films.
1. THE FILM: Bleak House.
THE PRINCESS: Esther Summerson.
HER PRINCE: Woodcourt.
MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITY: "Little Jo" dolls, accessorized with a broom that has interchangeable bristles ("clean" bristles, "dirty" bristles).
DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION: The Skimpole Maypole (overlay of Dumbo the Flying Elephant).
THE SCENARIO: After years of being mistreated by her Evil Guardian, young Esther is befriended by an affectionate talking bear named Jarndyce (song: "The Second Key on the Right"), who brings her to a mysterious castle known as Bleak House. Bleak House, we soon learn, has long been under the spell of a Scary Witch named Chancery Court (song: "Grim Grinning Guineas"). Esther's warm and loving ways soon bring a new light to the castle--so much so that even the spiders decide to help her clean it (song: "Webbing While You Work"). Meanwhile, Jarndyce, in the guise of a performing bear, entices the young nobleman Woodcourt to the castle. They all live happily ever after, except for...
DISNEY VILLAIN DEATH: ...Chancery Court, who falls backwards off the balcony after she is frightened by one of Esther's much-loved spiders.
2. THE FILM: Wuthering Heights.
THE PRINCESS: Catherine Earnshaw (you know, the first one).
HER PRINCE: Heathcliff.
MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITY: Stuffed bulldogs named Mo, accessorized with multiple collars (a spiked collar, a velvet bowtie, and so on).
DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION: Wuthering Heights dark ride, featuring cute creatures on the moors. Lots of moors. Pretty much all moors (replaces the Alice in Wonderland dark ride).
THE SCENARIO: After years of being mistreated by an Evil Orphanage Owner, young Heathcliff runs away and finds himself lost on the moors (song: "Step in Grime"). There, he is discovered by the mysterious young Catherine, who lives in a tumbledown farmhouse, Wuthering Heights, with only her pet mouse Nelly Dean for company (song: "Some Day She'll Drop a Crumb"). Heathcliff immediately falls in love with Catherine; however, he soon discovers that she is under a spell cast by the Scary Wizard Edgar Linton, who decided he wanted Catherine for himself after she was bitten by his pet bulldog Mo. Now, Catherine can only think of Linton's money (song: "I've Got No Rings"). Luckily, Nelly Dean manages to befriend Mo, and they help Heathcliff find the anecdote to the spell. They all live happily ever after, except for...
DISNEY VILLAIN DEATH: ...Edgar Linton, who falls backwards into a midden after being attacked by Nelly Dean.
3. THE FILM: Dracula.
THE PRINCESS: Mina Harker.
HER PRINCE: Dracula (come on, it's trendy now, right?).
MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITY: A line of "Sweet Blood Red" makeup products for little girls, all conveniently available at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION: Seasonal Halloween overlay of the Haunted Mansion.
THE SCENARIO: After years of being mistreated by an Evil Chiropterist, young Dracula escapes to England, where he has a series of comical misadventures involving his dietary habits (song: "Let It Flow, Let It Flow, Let It Flow"). Dracula finally resolves to leave his vampiric ways and become a vegetarian instead (song: "It's Not Easy Eating Green"). However, he soon attracts the attention of a Scary Lawyer, Jonathan Harker, whose beautiful wife, Mina, is under a terrible spell: she cannot eat anything except paprikash prepared by Jonathan's pet dormouse, Hubert G. Thremnodikins III. Dracula immediately falls in love with Mina, and realizing that Jonathan was the one who cast the spell, he seeks to liberate her with the help of a friendly talking elephant, Van Hulking ("Hi Diddle Dee Dee, Who's Got a Stake for Me"). Together, Dracula and Van Hulking persuade HGT III to put garlic into the paprikash, which breaks the spell. They all live happily ever after, except for...
DISNEY VILLAIN DEATH: Jonathan Harker, who falls backwards into the Thames after Van Hulking threatens to sit on him.
4. THE FILM: Jude the Obscure.
THE PRINCESS: Sue Bridehead.
HER PRINCE: Jude Fawley.
MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITY: Little Father Time wristwatches.
DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION: Stones of Venice Tower of Terror (renamed version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror).
THE SCENARIO: After years of being mistreated by an Evil Renovator, Jude Fawley runs away to build circus tents. However, he soon becomes fascinated by a beautiful young woman, Sue Bridehead, who is absolutely not his cousin. Sue makes magical paintings that predict the future (song: "Who's Been Painting My Future Sched?"), and one day sees a Scary Architect (known only as Camden Society) trap Jude in a ruined building. Fearing for Jude's safety, Sue and her best friend, a cuddly owl named Little Father Time, seek out the Scary Architect (song: "The Flying Buttresses Song"). Together, they manage to avert Camden Society's plot and bring Jude home, making Sue Bridehead a feminist action princessTM. They all live happily ever after, except for...
DISNEY VILLAIN DEATH: ...Camden Society, who falls backwards off a gargoyle after being spooked by Little Father Time.
5. THE FILM: Dubliners.
THE PRINCESS: N/A.
THE PRINCE: N/A.
MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITY: "The Dead" snowglobes, featuring Mickey Mouse (as Gabriel Conroy) and Minnie Mouse (as Gretta Conroy) in cheerful Christmas costumes.
DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION: New costumes for the relevant meet-and-greet cartoon characters.
THE SCENARIO: Billed as "Fantasia for the twenty-first century," Dubliners combines classic hand-drawn Disney animation, the 3D experience, and atmospheric music by Elton John. Beloved Disney characters like Goofy, Donald Duck, the Mad Hatter, and, of course, Mickey and Minnie romp through musical settings of James Joyce's short stories. Notable episodes include "Eveline" (Ariel the mermaid finds a prince, escapes the sea, and lives happily ever after), "The Boarding House" (Daisy Duck's mother introduces her to a fine young goose, and they live happily ever after), "A Painful Case" (Scrooge McDuck meets a lonely Cinderella, discovers the meaning of friendship, and lives happily ever after), and, of course, "The Dead" (Mickey and Minnie Mouse go to a party, sing Christmas carols in the snow, and live happily ever after).
DISNEY VILLAIN DEATH: None. There is nothing downbeat whatsoever about this film.