Donatello is the most scientific minded Turtle, and is responsible for the creations of most of the Turtles' high-tech equipment, including the Turtle Van, the Turtle comms, and the Turtle Blimp. He also managed to build a working inter-dimensional portal though it is unknown how he found the necessary equipment to do so. He also thwarted a super knowledgeable Slash without any assistance. He wears a purple bandana and, as with his other incarnations, he carries a Bō staff. The running gag in the show was that Donatello's inventions usually had the habit of breaking down or blowing up in his face, although there were many times the team relied on him whenever they were faced with scientific or mechanical problems.
The 1987 series briefly hinted of Donatello's vocal reluctance to the group's role as crime fighters and helping humans in particular, both in the five pilot episode and a plot point in the "Red Sky seasons" episode "Cry H.A.V.O.C.!". He seemed to be the least interested among his brothers towards human culture, and even reflected if being a normal turtle would have given them a much easier life. He also was the only Turtle who expressed horror at the idea of becoming human in "The Gang's All Here", and had no fantasies or desires based on that idea. Despite this, it never deterred him from appreciating human food such as pizza, and even bothered to get himself a college degree through mail, which he took great pride in.
In the rare moments when Leonardo was kidnapped or incapacitated, Donatello usually takes on the role as the group leader. Despite this, he also seemed the least self-sacrificial when it came to combat, preferring to find alternative ways out of bad situations. When Leonardo declared that they would go down fighting "like real turtles," Donatello's response was that he'd prefer to go on living, like a mock turtle. However, Donatello is capable of great aggression when provoked, such as in "Turtles on Trial" or "Enter: The Fly". This occurred to a greater extent in "Night of the Dark Turtle", in which a shock to his system led to Donatello becoming overly aggressive and violent.
In the film Turtles Forever, he is the one who created the Trans-dimensional Portal Stick in order to reach the Turtle Prime Universe. When his skeptical 2003 counterpart (whom he fondly nicknamed "Mr. Wizard") voiced his concerns over calling a wrench a hammer, Donatello replied that science is more than just facts and details.
He and the other members also appear in the 2012 TV series, first making a brief cameo in "The Manhattan Project" and then "The Wrath of Tiger Claw". Unlike in Turtles Forever, he and the other characters are voiced by their original voice actors. They all then appear in "Trans-Dimensional Turtles", "Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady", "The Foot Walks Again!", and "The Big Blow-Out!".
Skills, Powers and Abilities
- Genius level Intelligence and Communication: Donatello is a scientific genius in multiple fields. He is able to invent impressive machines. Donatello is a highly intelligent science enthusiast, with aptitudes in chemistry, physics, and engineering, and easily created a Turtle Van. Donatello also is a master of strategy and helps Leonardo as a tactician in many of the more involved and complex missions. Touched by his father as human given the power to speak and understand perfectly human English. However, it should be noted that Donatello's intelligence can be far surpassed by his 2012 counterpart, as shown in "Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady", when he and his brothers were saved thanks to his 2012 counterpart's plan to free them.
- Bōjutsu: Donatello was trained by Splinter in the use of the bō staff, in which he twirls, swings and stabs like a spear. As Donnie's fighting relies more on defense than offense, he makes use of his bō's versatile nature to block as well as counter attack. Despite this, he also able to deliver powerful strikes that can send enemies flying, and combine it with his physical combat skills. However, it is highly noticeable that as great as Donatello's skills may be, it is nowhere near to the superior level of combat skills his 2012 counterpart has demonstrated. For instance, in "Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady", Donatello has been trained by his 2012 counterpart in both armed and unarmed combat during his basic training.
- Shurikenjutsu: Donatello can throw shuriken with remarkable accuracy and even make calculations to have them bounce off surfaces and strikes multiple enemies.
- Enhanced Strength: Donatello possesses an adequate level of strength. He and his brothers have been mutated and have had years of training under a grand master of martial arts, so their strength has been amplified as a result. Therefore, Donatello is stronger than humans, and can overpower an majority of his opponents in combat. Donatello was able to send a mugger flying with a kick, and he tore apart a robot with only his hands.
- Enhanced Speed: Donatello is able to move at great speed, able to free run on rooftops without losing momentum. His reaction speed is faster than an ordinary person, allowing him to dodge projectiles such as lasers from Kraang's blasters and attacks from several opponents. He can also spin his staff at incredible speed to momentum to his strikes. Despite being a turtle, he is not slow. He can run fast enough to avoid laser fire from a Kraang weapon. He can also move things at enhanced speeds too, such as twirling his bo-staff.
- Enhanced Agility: Donatello can perform acrobatic and gymnastic feats, such as flips and somersaults, with no effort. He can also outmaneuver multiple foot soldiers at once, and perform graceful acrobatic maneuvers with ease.
- Enhanced Endurance: Donatello possesses incredible endurance, and is able to resist exceptional amount of damage. He can survive getting caught in the crossfire from all angles from Bebop and Rocksteady's blasts, as well as enduring a collision with Rocksteady when he charged at him at full speed (which only knocked him out cold briefly). He was able to easily withstand a powerful punch to the face from Rocksteady. He can also take hard hits from Krang and Shredder.
- Enhanced Stamina: Due to his ninjutsu training, he has exceptional stamina, which allows him to keep up with his training. He can exert himself to his peak performance for an hour without stopping or slowing down, as well as run massive distances without tiring at all. And as a turtle, Donatello also possesses extraordinary lung capacity, capable of holding his breath underwater for extremely long periods of time.
- Expert of Ninjutsu: Donatello is highly trained in Ninjutsu.
- Stealth: Being taught by Splinter, Donatello, as well as his brothers, are able to be one with darkness and hide and move within the shadows without being noticed. Like his brothers, he is expert in stealth, as he can hide in the shadows, sneak around without being detected, and use hand to hand combat. And as a ninja, Donatello can move freely about New York City without being detected, as well as watching the extremely vigilant 2012 Turtles without them noticing.
- Donatello has a deep distaste for sushi, consistently referring to it as "raw fish" when expressing his dislike for it.
- This distaste apparently extends to all fish, as evidenced by his growing antipathy towards fish in "Northern Lights Out".
- Donatello is right-handed, as shown in "The Day the Earth Disappeared" and "Donatello's Degree".