In the Mirage/Image comics all four turtles wear red bandanas but in mainstream versions he sports a purple bandana. His signature weapon is the bō staff. In all media he is depicted as the most intelligent of the four turtles, often speaking in technobabble with a natural aptitude for science and technology. He is named after the sculptor Donatello.
In the comics Donatello is originally presented along with Leonardo as one of the two calmer turtles and while the originals have no official command structure, in the early stories he is depicted as the second in command. In the first issue he is the one that killed the Shredder by knocking him and his grenade off the roof.
The second issue elaborated more on each turtles personalities and opened with Donatello soldering a circuit. Later in the issue Donatello states that he is "familiar with some computer systems" and helps April O'Neil deactivate the Mousers.
In the Donatello one shot, Donatello encounters an artist called Kirby (an homage to the comic artist Jack Kirby) whose mysterious crystal brings his drawings to life before disappearing. The two newfound friends journey to a dimension inhabited by Kirby's creations and help the heroes defeat the invading monsters.
During the turtles' exile to Northampton, Donatello becomes obsessed with fixing up and repairing the many broken things within the farmhouse they were living in. Most notably he spent days and nights fixing the boiler to give his family hot running water and builds a windmill and a water wheel to provide electricity. He also finds an old type writer and writes his own personal credo.
In "Shades of Grey" Casey Jones encounters the turtle by a ravine as he was pondering "the fractal structure of natural patterns". Casey accuses the turtle of using big words and acting better than everyone else. Donatello suggests they should continue the conversation when Casey is sober. Grabbing a stick, an angry Jones continually pokes the turtle until he loses his temper and sends Casey careening into the water.
City at WarEdit
In "City at War" the turtles return to New York to put an end to the Foot Clan's civil war. During a battle with Shredder's Elite Guards in the ruins of the Second Time Around Shop Donatello falls through the floor and breaks his leg. Seeing their ally Karai subdued and about to be killed, Donatello grabs one of the Foot's machine guns and repeatedly shoots the Foot Elite. Donatello is visibly shaken by the violence and throws the gun away.
At the end of the story the turtles, April and Casey move back to New York save for Donatello who chooses to stay in Northampton with Master Splinter to heal from his injury as well as reflect everything that had happened.
While meditating with Splinter, Donatello receives a vision of the future where he is in the village of Chihaya in Japan. When Donatello asks what he would be doing there his master simply replies "To bury me".
After encountering the turtle vigilante ally Nobody in civilian guise he returns with him to New York to help his brothers battle Baxter Stockman.
In the current comics Donatello finds an armored truck in the sewers which apparently had been part of a bank robbery in the sixties. Along with Raphael and Casey Jones undertakes the task of fixing up the vehicle.
After the death of Splinter, Donatello secretly goes to his body and asks forgiveness before clipping something off him. Shortly after, Donatello decides to accompany the Utroms on a mission to Tepui to search for two missing research teams. The group are attacked by strange wooden creatures who shrink them to miniature size. The creatures turn out to be a group of Utroms which had been stranded in the Jungle during their first stay on Earth and had been living in secret thanks to their Quantum Inversion Redimensioning device which could alter their size. The process could not be reversed on Donatello, possibly due to his mutation, leaving him the size of an action figure.
While the Utroms work on returning the him to normal, Donatello put his new size to use infiltrating a terrorist organizations warehouse. He's also made a robotic body for him made to resemble a turtle to help him move around.
In the Image Comics incarnation of the TMNT, he became a cyborg after his body was partially destroyed from being shot and dropped out of a helicopter (he maintained a positive attitude nonetheless, although he was constantly at risk of losing his mind to the cyborg half). The Image Comics were later treated as non-canon by the Mirage Publications.
1987 animated series Edit
The first animated television series depicts Donatello as a genius who invents many of the turtles vehicles and equipment including the Turtle Van, the Turtle Blimp and the Turtle Com.
Unlike the 2003 series his other minor inventions often malfunction, but many of them end up serving a practical purpose. Despite an obvious lack of funding in subsequent seasons he made many revolutionary inventions, the most notable being the portable portal capable of opening gateways to other dimensions as well as an early warning system which warns of impending attacks from other dimensions or from Krang and Shredder.
Despite Leonardo being the official leader of the team given the sci fi nature of the series it is Donatello who comes up with most of the plans and solutions to the turtles predicaments. At times he displays little appreciation for human culture beyond the scientific community and he even earned a degree via mail.
In the original English language voice version of the show, Donatello's voice actor is Barry Gordon, who also voices Bebop. Greg Berg was the 1989 alternate voice actor for Donatello as well as Bebop. In the 25th anniversary movie Turtles Forever, Donatello was voiced by Tony Salerno.
2003 animation Edit
Like the Mirage comics, Donatello has a complex personality in the 2003 animation and thus is a popular character. Several episodes concentrate on him, as well as his emotional and intellectual struggles. As in his other incarnations, he is intelligent, good with his hands, and very introspective, frequently becoming pensive over things he doesn't understand. He typically has a very close, however platonic, relationship with April. He also displays closeness with Michelangelo akin to that seen in the original movie. Even more pacifistic than his other incarnations, Donatello shows a greater interest in technology than his ninjutsu training. Even so, Donatello will defend his brothers at any cost, and he frequently assists the team in many ways through the technology he develops, mostly vehicles and communication devices. In this animation, Donatello is generally well-liked by all of his brothers, never engaging in major confrontations with them. In fact, Donatello was the one to reunite his brothers against the Shredder in the episode "Same As It Never Was." His skin color is a light, brownish green color; this particular color is only used for him in the 2003 animation. In the fourth season, he was infected by a monster, and in the episode "Adventures in Turtlesitting", he mutates into a monster himself, which happened to Raphael in the comics. In the seventh season, also called "Back to the Sewer", Donatello blamed himself for Master Splinter's decompiling and vowed to restore his bits from cyberspace. This obsession caused him to disregard anything else, such as the war between the Purple Dragons and the Foot clan, as unimportant. It wasn't until seeing his brothers in danger from the Cyber Shredder did he realize he was ignoring his responsibilities to help them and promised not to let his obsession with saving Master Splinter take control again. Donatello is voiced by Sam Riegel in English and Yuji Ueda in the Japanese series.
By the time of Turtles Forever, the 2003 Donatello is in total disbelief over the scientific attitude of his 1987 counterpart, in which the alternate Donatello replied, "Science isn't all just facts and figures."
In the first three live action films, Donatello, like Leonardo, is arguably less mature than he was in the original comics and the 1987 animated series, as he is shown joking around more. The first film never officially identifies Donatello as the group's resident whiz kid, though he is occasionally shown tinkering with various devices and is seen to have a vast knowledge of obscure topics (he is shown to be a master at 'Trivial Pursuit' when playing against the other Turtles). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, however, clearly established Donatello as the most scientifically-minded turtle as well as the most introspective. The first film plays up the relationship between him and Casey Jones; in all other versions of the TMNT, Raphael, not Donatello, is closest to Casey, except for the 1987 cartoon, in which Jones does not figure prominently. This is apparently because the scene in which Donatello and Casey bond over the fixing of an old pickup truck was based on a similar scene involving Casey and Raphael in the Mirage comics. Corey Feldman famously provides Donatello's voice in the first and third live-action films, while Adam Carl filled in for the second movie during Feldman's stint in rehabilitation. In the third film, Donatello is the only Turtle who is not tempted to stay in the Feudal Japan of the past, saying that he can't live without technology. The films also portray Donatello as being close with Michelangelo, bantering with him during fight sequences, going off to the side when Leo and Raph are arguing and in general hanging out in their spare time.
In the 2007 movie, Donatello runs an IT tech support line to earn money for the family. He has a more confrontational relationship with Raphael, angry that the latter was not pulling his weight to support them, as a family and as a team member, when in actuality Raphael was secretly fighting as the Nightwatcher. This disagreement is further explained in the prequel comics by the fact that Donatello does not trust Nightwatcher, because no one knows what side he is really on and because he uses fear to accomplish his ends. Donatello states that Raphael uses many of the same tactics, and hints that he may suspect what his brother really does at night. Donatello also tries to guide Michelangelo away from the idea that vigilantes are heroes. Such action develops Donatello as an older brother while Leonardo is in Central America, forced to be the responsible one in Leonardo's absence and teach his brothers what Leo would in his place. Don is clearly yet still unofficially established as second in command here, much more than in the other three movies. However, it should be noted that Rapheal felt HE was better suited to be in charge and openly asks Splinter why he was not considered for the role. Splinter explains that Raph has not yet mastered control over his rage and is therefore not eligible to be leader. (The 2007 movie never mentions age as a deciding factor). In the game tie-in his IQ is "off the charts". Don is voiced by Mitchell Whitfield.
Coming Out of Their Shells Tour Edit
In the "making of" video for the Ninja Turtles musical tour, producer Adrian Selby notes that Donatello had "some very unusual ideas about what musical instruments are and how they're constructed."
Video games Edit
In the video games based on the 1987 animated series, Donatello has the longest range, although he cannot inflict as much damage as Leonardo, who has the second-longest range; one notable exception is the first NES game, where Donatello both did the most damage and had the longest range, though his attacks were slow. This has been carried over into the games inspired by the 2003 animated series. He appears in TMNT: Smash Up as a playable character, and is voiced by Sam Riegel.
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|
|The TMNT Franchise|
|Comics: Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | Tales of the TMNT | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures | Daily comic strip |
TV series: 1987 cartoon (episode list) | The Next Mutation | 2003 cartoon (episode list)
Films: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III | TMNT
Games: Role-playing games | Video games
Other related articles: Food tie-ins | Action figures
|The TMNT Universe|
|Characters: Leonardo | Michelangelo | Donatello | Raphael | Splinter | April O'Neil | The Shredder | Casey Jones | List of characters |
Races and organisations: Foot Clan | Utrom | List of races and organisations
Objects and places: Battle Nexus | Dimension X | Magical objects | Planets | Robots | Technodrome