During World War II, there were legends about gremlins who would mess up electronics and sabotage airplanes. This delightful personification of sabotage was turned into a children's book written by Road Dahl. Mr. Dahl then approached Walt Disney about turning it into a cartoon.
The company collaborated on comic books and merchandise prior to the release of the film.
Unfortunately, the copyright on the characters was undetermined. While Road Dahl claimed that they were entirely his creation, the British government felt it had a stake in them since they were tied to the British Air Force. Walt Disney chose to end production and cut the studio's losses. Disney and Dahl's Gremlins would be mostly forgotten for decades.