Uncle Scrooge's nemesis Flintheart Glomgold is portrayed in this series as a Scot. In the original comics, he was portrayed as South African; this was removed due to the apartheid regime that was part of that country's history.
In the comics Donald Duck was not in the navy, and always accompanied Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewy, and Louie in the their adventures. However, the show's creators thought that he might steal the focus from Scrooge and that his voice would be to hard to understand. Launchpad McQuack was instead used as a substitute for Donald.
The series was the first Disney cartoon to be produced for syndication. 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. However, this show was a big hit and paved the way for future Disney cartoon series, such as Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989), TaleSpin (1990), and Gargoyles (1994).
In the Carl Barks comics, Scrooge McDuck was much greedier and meaner, who could be portrayed as much an antagonist as a protagonist. He was considerably toned down in this series to be more affectionate and kindhearted.
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 investments for most of the history of TV cartoons up through the 1980s.
In Carl Barks comics, the Beagle Boys have no individual personalities and they all look the same, they are only mentioned by their numbers and they all begin with "176". On the show, the Beagle Boys were given names and different personalities.
Scrooge McDuck was named after Ebenezer Scrooge from the classic Charles Dickins novel "A Christmas Carol" and like Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge McDuck is elderly, a wealthy businessman, wears a top hat and is grumpy.
After the success of "Mickey's Christmas Carol" TV special, Michael Eisner fast tracked an animated TV series featuring Scrooge McDuck. He insisted on selling it to daily syndication, believing it would give them more creative freedom and make the company more money than Saturday morning television.
When the initial ideas for DuckTales were being brainstormed, Disney was also considering a TV series inspired by Indiana Jones, about a team that would go on adventures worldwide searching for treasures. After rereading the Uncle Scrooge comics by Carl Barks, Michael Eisner realized that many of these adventure elements were already incorporated into their story lines. The two ideas were merged together into one show, which ended up being DuckTales.
An early version of the series was going to have a bigger cast of Disney characters appearing, including Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. However, this idea was quickly shot down when it felt like it was going to take away from the main characters and story lines. Donald Duck would make recurring visits, but the other two never appeared on any episodes.