DuckTales is an animated series produced by The Walt Disney Company starring characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe as largely created by Carl Barks. The pilot episode first aired on September 11 , 1987. The main stars of the series were Scrooge McDuck himself and his grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
DuckTales was the most successful of Disney's early attempts to create high-quality animation for a TV animated series (earlier shows included The Wuzzles and The Gummi Bears in 1985). Disney invested a far greater amount of money into the TV series than had previously been spent on animated shows of the time. This was considered a risky move, because animated TV series were generally considered low-budget, throwaway investments for most of the history of TV cartoons up through the 1980s.
Many critics say that Disney's own animation studio had lost most of its luster during the period from Walt Disney's passing through the 1980s. However, the studio took a number of risks that paid off handsomely, and DuckTales was one of those risks that won big. The studio gambled on the idea that a larger investment into quality animation could be made back through syndication -- a concept that worked well with live-action TV reruns, but which had only been used with inexpensive cartoon series that either recycled theatrical shorts from decades past or only featured limited, low-budget animation.
The 1988-1989 season of DuckTales consisted of 65 episodes. The next season (1989-1990) included an additional 35 episodes. In the second season, Bubba the Caveduck and his pet triceratops, Tootsie, and Fenton Crackshell and his alter ego Gizmo Duck appeared.
The show was so successful it spawned a feature film, , and two spinoffs series: Darkwing Duck and Quack Pack. A game for the Nintendo Entertainment System was also based on the series. The success of DuckTales also paved the way for a new wave of high-quality animated TV series, including Disney's own The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1988.
The new for 1989 series Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was paired with DuckTales in an hour-long syndicated show through the 1989-1990 television season. In the 1990-1991 season, Disney expanded the idea yet further, to create The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour long syndicated block of half-hour cartoons. DuckTales was one of the early flagship cartoons in the series.
DuckTales had two series of comic books. The first series was from Gladstone and ran for 13 issues from 1988 to 1990, and the second series was from Disney Comics and ran for 18 issues from 1990 to 1991.