Donatello or Donnie is one of the main protagonists in the 2012-2017 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series. The second-youngest adoptive son of Splinter and younger adoptive brother of Karai, he is the birth brother of Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo. He is the team's scientist, mechanist, inventor and weaponry who is in charge of the design and manufacture of all the tools, gadgets, armor, vehicles and weapons in Turtles' arsenal and is also a gifted hacker. Wearing a purple headband, he fights with a bō (rokushakubo) which also converts to a naginata, (Japanese halberd) via a switchblade inside one end of the wooden staff. In this version, Donnie has a huge crush on April (who is also in teenage years in this adaptation).and a rivalry with Casey because of it.
From 2012-2017, Donatello is still the brains of the team, but the results of that role as a teenager are played up considerably. He’s constantly being teased by his brothers (especially Raphael), his social skills are less than adequate, and his feelings for April are unnoticed by the girl because he just can’t find the words to express his feelings. However, his ninja skills gain a boost as well. His bo staff now transforms into a naginata, giving him mastery over yet another skill of ninjutsu.
It appears that Donatello has a more prominent role in this series compared to the original 1987 series, being more active and purpose-driven (he is the brains of the operation), but at times does not understand and/or has a hard time grasping the lectures of Master Splinter. His character design was also updated, giving him a gap in his teeth and a taller, leaner appearance with a skinny body shape than his brothers
Donnie is a mutated anthropomorphic teen ninjutsu turtle warrior with brownish green skin. Unlike all his previous incarnations, this newer, updated version of Donnie has a gap in between his teeth in addition to having a much taller and skinnier body shape with brown/red eyes, but like his brothers when they're in combat or being stealthy, he has whited-out eyes (like the 2003 incarnation).
Like most incarnations, he wears a purple mask where the tails of the mask are longer than any of his brothers, except for Raph's. His ninja gear consists of brown knee and elbow pads, light brown bandages wrapped around his ankles, wrists and white bandages wrapped around his fingers.
Donatello is quiet, shy and more reserved than his brothers. He does not have Mikey's outgoing nature or ability to make friends quickly, but his loyalty to the friends he does make is considerable. He also has a tendency to take things personally and deeply to heart, such as the care and protection for The Pulverizer and being the most upset by April's departure after the mutation of her father. Donatello is somewhat socially awkward, having neither Leo's charisma or Raph's indifference to what people think. He is very technical (his form of speech being a techno-babble), inventive and detail-oriented. His quiet and shy nature gives him a more professional look, which comes across as the strong silent type. He is good with machines and has a talent for making new technology for his brothers. But there's one thing he hasn't gotten right... getting April to notice him.
Donnie is not without faults. He is nervous, tense under pressure, easily annoyed and, while not prone to regular bursts of anger like Raph, he can still lose his temper (though not as strong as Raphael), and get frustrated, especially when technology fails or performs ineffectively or when Mikey messes with his inventions (as seen in Battle for New York). He is also rather romantic and very loving. He is able to appreciate the love between his father Splinter and his late wife, Tang Shen.
Donnie is particularly skilled, having "a way with machines" (a book-smart scientist, mechanist and mathematician) and is the most intellectually inclined of the siblings. Of all of the turtles, he has devoted more of his time to non-combat oriented pursuits, such as the study of technology, biology, physics, calculus, chemistry, mathematics, and metallurgy. This makes him very nerdy, especially in the eyes of Raph. Donnie is the 2nd most mature out of all his brothers, aside from Leo, and often is the voice of reason and logic. In previous incarnations, Donnie is seen as second-in-command, but no such title has been established in this series, thus far.
Donnie is a skilled martial artist but often puts more faith in his high-tech gadgets and machinery than listen to more spiritual advice with traditional ninjitsu methods taught to him by Master Splinter. Despite his genius-IQ level, Donnie often tends to over-analyze, overthink, and over-complicate things (especially Splinter's advice, ultimately putting too much of a burden on himself and making boneheaded decisions. In fact, he is such a huge believer of science instead of religion and over-reliant on modern tech-gadgets that Donnie tends to clash with Leo and Splinter over these "traditional methods", as seen with Metalhead and later, the Turtle Mech. He's utterly brilliant, able to cobble together fantastic stuff from things he's literally scrounged from a trash heap. He's obsessively detail-oriented and often impatient that his brothers can't keep up with him intellectually. But Donnie also happens to be the most reclusive and socially awkward of the Turtles - especially when April is on her way.
Donatello is often described as the stereotypical computer "nerd". He is usually characterized as extremely intelligent (book-smart wise), socially inept, and rigidly logical. He regularly displays a lack of emotional intelligence and empathy, preferring to use science, technology, logic and reasoning to “fix” the world around him. His beyond genius-level IQ allows him to solve problems that other people could not, but it also diminishes his ability to relate and empathize with other people. When Donnie feels like he is failing at a task, he panics and starts to lash out at those around him. Donnie is scientifically inclined and gifted with computers. He sometimes does show empathy, particularly towards the empathetic April, who frequently accompanies the Turtles on their missions as he attempts to mature emotionally.
Donatello is incredibly intelligent, book smart, observant, and a creative, resourceful and technical fast thinker, as he can literally solve complex math equations whilst in the middle of a brawl. He can also come up with ingenious ideas on the spot that no one else can think of when disaster strikes.
Donnie seems to have a low EQ level because of his high IQ level, as he tends to be nervous, shy and socially awkward around new people, sometimes being blunt without bothering to think about how giving the cold, hard truth can affect others. His problems connecting to other people can be seen as he has trouble expressing his affection for April, being nervous and socially awkward around her. Underneath his calm and intelligent exterior is a heart that cares deeply but is unsure how to express it.
Donnie is always seen working on a strategy, whether it's building machines and gadgets or battling villains; the complete opposite to his free-flowing brother, Michelangelo. Donatello talks a lot in order to describe or explain a situation or theory in full, sometimes even when in the face of danger which can be a problem. He sometimes can be short-tempered or high-strung, (but not nearly like Raphael), getting frustrated easily, and shouting when angry, but at heart is a kind individual who is always willing to help others, lay down his life for them if need be, especially those he cares about.He is very protective and complimentary of April (Who is also in teenage years in this adaptation), whom he has a large crush on. Donatello has a more prominent role in this series compared to the original 1987 series, being more active and purpose-driven, but at times, does not understand and/or has quite a hard time understanding the lectures of Master Splinter. He is the second-youngest turtle, despite being the tallest.
Skills, Powers and Abilities
- Intelligence and Communication: Donatello is a scientific genius in multiple fields. He is able to invent impressive machines, including, but not limited to, the Shellraiser, T-Phone, Turtle-Flyers, Turtle Sub, Metalhead, Ninja Smoke Bombs, Turtle Mech, Turtle Racer, and Turtle Blimp, all out of trash found in junkyards, garbage dumps, etc. He is also an expert biologist, chemist, and geneticist, as he was able to create the first ever successful Retro-Mutagen and has often been seen in his lab experimenting with chemicals. Additionally, Donatello is able to plan out strategies, as well as build, fix, take apart, and hack into machines. His intelligence is also his greatest advantage in battle. In Follow the Leader, it is revealed that Donatello is able to use impressively quick logical thinking and mathematical calculations while in combat. For example, he is able throw shuriken at nearby objects and/or surfaces, in order to make them bounce off objects again and again in the exact directions he calculated previously. He is incredibly intelligent able to calculate complex equations in his head, create different machines and handle the creation of medicines and other chemical compounds. He enjoys tinkering with items he finds in the junkyards and in the abandoned part of the sewers, which have allowed him to make the Shellraiser, the T-phone and Tpod. 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.
- 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.
- Naginatajutsu: Donatello skills with his bō staff translate to his proficiency with the naginata. His staff possesses a retractable blade that is mostly used in cases when he is fighting robots.
- Shurikenjutsu: Donatello can throw shiruken with remarkable accuracy and even make calculations to have them bounce off surfaces and strikes multiple enemies.
- 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.
- Speed: Donatello is able to move at great speed, able to free run on rooftops without losing momentum. He also possesses great reaction speed, allowing him to dodge projectiles such as lasers the Kraang's blasters, and enemy attacks. 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.
- 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 stealthy, can hide in the shadows, sneak around without being detected, and use hand to hand combat.
- Healing Factor: He was able to take numerous hits from mutants like Dr. Tyler Rockwell, Dogpound and Slash, seriously injuring himself and was still able to fight. He also was able to fight Shredder but was hurt by him.
- Stamina and Endurance: Due to his ninjitsu training, he has a great deal of stamina, which allows him to keep up with his training. A good exhibition of his stamina is seen when Donatello is training the Pulverizer. He able to take hits better then Mikey can take, but not as good when compared to Leo and Raph.
- Retractable limbs into Shell: He has the normal ability of a turtle to get into his shell.
Fifteen years before the Rise of the Turtles, the benevolent Hamato Yoshi purchased the four turtles. Yoshi came into contact with a rat and had to fight against a couple of Kraang. The aliens dropped their mutagen causing the mutation of Yoshi and the turtles. Yoshi raised the turtles as his own children and continues to train them in ninjutsu. Donatello's character design was also updated, giving him a gap in his teeth and a taller, leaner appearance than his brothers.
In this version, Donatello wields a wooden 6-foot long Bo Staff (rokushakubo) which, like his brothers with their individually chosen weapons, he is highly skilled with, twirling it like a spear and swinging it like a baseball bat. His bo staff can also convert into a Naginata spear via a switchblade inside one end of the staff.
However, in battle, his wooden staff is often broken, snapped in half, or destroyed (disintegrated by lasers), which implies he has stashed several identical bostaffs at the lair. Several examples occur in Metalhead - and a great deal of the episode being dedicated to Donatello's annoyance with this. i.e: Donatello hits a Kraang robot with his staff, which does absolutely nothing. Donatello exclaims in frustration at his staff (furious at how useless it seems to be against the robots) just before Raphael destroys the same robot by throwing and stabbing one of his sai through its head. Donnie watches helplessly as Leo (with his katanas), Raph (with his sais) and Mikey (with his nunchucku) deflect the Kraang droid's laser blaster (since their weapons have metallic stainless steel while Donnie's bo-staff is made out of wood). Raphael then turns to Donatello and says that "When we're done here, there's a matching band who needs a majorette." implying that he isn't particularly impressed with Donatello's bo staff either. Soon after this, half of Donatello's staff is burnt away by an energy canon, once again causing him to exclaim angrily at the apparent ineffectiveness of his weapon. Donatello dives behind a crate to avoid the canon, and screams, "How am I supposed to fight advanced alien technology, with a stupid stick?!" Later in the episode, Raphael is tending to Spike and says, "Look Spike, Donatello got another stick to break." just as Master Splinter is handing Donatello another bo staff. (Donatello then tells the Sensei that he wishes to upgrade it with modern technology, to make it more effective, and the rest of the episode follows his endeavors, and eventually, he does fight alien technology - and win - by using the so-called "stupid stick".) Despite this, he later upgraded his staff by equipping it with a rocket launcher, though it malfunctions and backfires.
In The Pulverizer Returns!, Splinter says that the boys are getting too reliant on their own weapons, telling them to swap for once. After this exercise, Donatello is left with Raphael's sai. During a later, more serious fight, the turtles become way too uncooperative with their new weapons and in the end decides to swap back. Afterwards, when Splinter finds out, he confiscate all their weapons, stating that anything can be useful for true fighters. When Donatello and his brothers are trying to save Timothy, he uses a broomstick, holding and fighting with it in a style similar style to his regular bo staff. In Turtle Temper and The Gauntlet, he also used a Yumi bow and like the rest of his brothers wields shurikens.
Throughout much of the fifth and final season, Donnie continues using his regular bo staff. In the 4-episode Monsters and Mutants story arc, his staff has a mystical seal of protection, capable of shining a bright white light when held at the correct angle, and as long as he has faith in it.
- Turtle Sub
- Patrol Buggy
- Stealth Bike
- Mutagen Tracker
- Ooze Specs
- Ninja Smoke Bomb
- Turtle Flyers
- Turtle Mech
- Leonardo - Donatello's oldest brother. He and Leonardo rarely fight, unless absolutely necessary. They do tend to tease each other occasionally, but never try to hurt each other mentally. Although, there are points in the series where Leonardo tends to stress out Donatello while he fixes or opens bombs, locks, etc., as seen in and . Donatello, in return, questions Leonardo occasionally about his plans to see if they're accurate or safe. Leonardo feels like Donatello worries too much, and Donatello feels the same way about him, but they share a strong brother/best-friend relationship and show compassion and always have each other's backs.
- Raphael - Donatello's second-oldest brother. He and Raphael do fight occasionally, but tease and taunt each other more. Raphael tends to tease and taunt Donatello about his "dorkiness" and smarts, while Donatello does the same to Raphael about his "meatheadedness" and temper. Overall, they still have each other's backs and care about each other, as they are brothers, but they hardly show that kind of affection.
- Michelangelo - Donatello's only younger brother. He and Michelangelo fight the most out of all his brothers, but they seem very close as brothers. Donatello tends to be the actual big brother to Michelangelo, whereas his other brothers just plan out what they're going to do, and just use Michelangelo as a sidekick. Donatello hates it whenever Michelangelo doesn't use his common sense, gets annoying, or whenever he goofs off too much, but Donatello still loves him, as he is his little brother and best friend. Michelangelo, on the other hand, looks up to Donatello, and teases him about his huge crush on April, but he always tries helping Donatello; trying to impress him with his nunchuck skills.
- Splinter - Donatello's adoptive father and sensei. Donatello tries his best to listen to Splinter's advice, but most of Splinter's words tend to confuse him, which is ironic, because Donatello is never confused once it comes to words. It is shown that Donatello questions Splinter's advice the most, despite being the smartest.
- April O'Neil - Donatello's best friend and crush. Donatello instantly developed a crush on her when he first saw her, despite her sometimes not knowing how to react, to his immense attraction towards her. There are several episodes where Donatello actually shows his feelings for her, but he quickly takes it back or makes up an excuse, fearing that she'll not accept him and their friendship will go awry. When she discovers that the turtles caused her father's mutation and becomes furious at them (in ), he is devastated. However, after he and his brothers save her from Karai and her talk with Casey, April reconciles with the turtles and she gives Donatello a hug and a kiss on the cheek as an apology. After it becomes clear that Casey is also in love with April, Donatello's attempts to earn April's heart become even bolder than before, as he keeps trying to one-up Casey's attempts to impress her. In , it's revealed that his worst fear is April hating him and leaving him for Casey. In , as the Kraang are invading New York City and the world seems to be ending, the Turtles have sought cover in the O'Neils' apartment, and April is in the process of tying off an injury to Donatello's arm, Donatello finally tells April that he wants to tell her his feelings. April, who was almost certainly never ignorant of Donatello's feelings towards her, quickly shuts him up before he can speak, telling him to stop talking as it will only make things hurt more, while trying to make it look like she's referring to Donatello's injury. In (which picks up immediately after the events of the previous episode), Casey arrives at April's apartment, and April embraces Casey and tells him "I was scared I'd lost you forever," in front of Donatello. Donatello is briefly fazed by this display, but quickly shrugs it off as their crisis isn't over yet. By , Donatello has become paranoid of April and Casey spending any time alone together. In , Donatello still tries to keep earning April's heart, but is increasingly frustrated. After Raph tells him that Bigfoot's one-sided obsessive crush on Donatello is just like Donatello's crush on April, Donatello confronts April. He tells her that he intends to give up on seeking her heart, and that he's "just a mutant". To his surprise (and extreme confusion), April calls Donatello her mutant, and gives him a very affectionate kiss.
- Leatherhead - Donatello has neutral feelings about Leatherhead. While he sees him as a valuable ally, Donatello's terrified of Leatherhead; mostly because the running gag where whenever Leatherhead looses control, he grabs Donatello by the face and shakes him like a rag doll. Leatherhead has regretted this action though and he sees Donatello as a good friend like he does all the turtles. After Leatherhead is rescued from Dimension X during , Leatherhead appears amicable to all of the Turtles, and does not attack Donnie again after this.
- Timothy - At first, Donatello was annoyed by Timothy as the Pulverizer in , but in , Donatello develops a friendship with him. He thought Timothy was a hopeless guy in over his head at first, but then he realized there was more to him. Timothy tries to mutate himself, hoping that he'll turn out to be like Donatello and his brothers. Fortunately, Donatello tries his best to stop him, warning Timothy that the mutagen is dangerous, and could even kill the Timothy if he came in contact with it. Unfortunately, Timothy doesn't listen to him, and optimistically exposes himself to mutagen. Donatello then promises that he'll find a cure for Timothy. Donatello puts the mutated Timothy inside a body tank and indefinitely parks the tank in Donatello's lab in the Garage. From then, Donatello would frequently talk with Timothy about how much he loves April; but this only causes Timothy to develop a crush on April as well. In , Donatello's friendship with Timothy rapidly disintegrates as Timothy siphons entire canisters of mutagen into his tank (becoming Mutagen Man), his tank becomes mobile, and he breaks out of Donatello's lab and returns to the surface, obsessively seeking out April. When Donatello and the other turtles confront him, he fights them, declaring they are no longer his friends. Timothy as Mutagen Man is finally subdued, and Donatello has Timothy's tank indefinitely frozen, putting Timothy into suspended animation. In , the Kraang discover and partially destroy the Turtle Lair, which must be abandoned. In , Donnie is briefly returning to his lab for what may be the very last time, and is unable to take the still-frozen Timothy with him. He tells Timothy that he'll try to come back for him later, but that if he can't, that his frozen tank will thaw in about 70 years, hopefully to meet a better world.
- Casey Jones - Even though he didn't officially meet Casey until , Donatello didn't like what he observed of Casey with April. He is jealous of how close Casey is with April and doesn't like him because of it (the feeling is mutual). In , he gets upset with him when he tells the turtles that he lost April on their way over to the lair. When he and Raphael pinned Casey to the wall, he admitted he enjoyed it, proving how much he doesn't like him. In addition to April hating him, Donatello's worst fear involves her falling for Casey. He does view him as an ally and occasionally friend, but their rivalry gets in the way. After the events of when it became clear that there was a real possibility April was falling in love with Casey, Donatello started to treat Casey with even greater hostility and spite. In , a normal training session at the O'Neil Farm saw Donatello and Casey drop their discipline and start brawling, for which April said the two were acting like "caged animals". Donatello was also paranoid and opposed to letting April and Casey spend any time alone together. In Race with the Demon, his relationship with Casey improves after they work together to build the Turtle Racer and take down Speed Demon.
- Shredder - Donatello's archnemesis. Donatello has heard a lot about the Shredder from Splinter ever since he and his brothers were younger. Even though he never met him until , he knew the Shredder was dangerous. When he does officially meet him, he is rightfully afraid of him and tries his best to fight him. This encounter does make him and his brothers realize how inexperienced they are in contrast to the Shredder. However, when they encounter the Shredder in , he, Raphael and Michelangelo are able to stand their ground against him much better.
- The Kraang - Donatello's targeted archenemies. From their Dimension X, the Kraang are partially aware of Donatello's inventions spying on them for information, but never focus on them. Meanwhile, he invents gadgets to spy on the Kraang to gather the exact information that he and his brothers need in order to get rid of them. Donatello is very impressed with their technology. Donatello also has a strong crush on April, and they both discover in that she is actually a half-Kraang mutant.
- Rahzar - One of Donatello's enemies.
- Fishface - One of Donatello's enemies.
- Dr. Falco / Rat King - One of Donatello's enemies. Falco is an enemy Donatello was able to defeat on his own.
- Newtralizer - He is the Kraang prisoner who escaped with Donatello's help. Also he is the first and only enemy of the turtles whose name was given by Donatello, and not by Michelangelo.
- Snakeweed - Snake made his debut in the first episode of the series , before he mutated into a mutant weed he was a henchman for the Kraang.
- Spider Bytez - Yet another of Donatello's enemies.
- Anton Zeck / Bebop - One of Donatello's enemies.
- Ivan Steranko / Rocksteady - One of Donatello's enemies.
- Baxter Stockman
- Don Vizioso
- Donatello is named for the famous Renaissance master, Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, (better known simply as "Donatello".
- Donatello's name is Italian, a diminutive form of the name Donato, from Latin Donatus, which means "Gift from God".
- In Katakana, Donatello's name is spelt: ドナテッロ (Donaterro).
- Given the fact that he was adopted by Hamato Yoshi/Splinter, Donatello's full name would be "Hamato Donatello". In Western order for Japanese names, it would be "Donatello Hamato".
- Donatello is the tallest amongst his brothers, presumably at around 6 ft tall as seen on concept art of the Pulverizer scale refers to the Turtles' maximum height.
- Donatello has Diastema, (a noticeable gap between two of his front teeth).
- Donatello has OCD: According to J.R. Ventimilia (executive producer) Donatello is "(...)a little fussy, nervous and obsessive-compulsive.
- In this incarnation, Donatello has a crush on April O'Neil, having fallen for her at first sight.
- While Donatello still fights with his weapons of choice, a Rokushakubo, (a Bō staff), in this incarnation his staff can be converted into naginata, (a "pole-blade"), via a retractable blade inside one end of the staff. It has been seen as early as the events of . The other episode being
- His mastery of Ninjutsu includes: Taijustu, Qigong, Bōjutsu, Sōjutsu, Naginatajutsu, Bōryaku, Intonjutsu, Tenmon, Chi-mon, Shinobi-iri, Shurikenjutsu, Archery, computer hacking, and building machines.
- His eye color tends to refract between red and brown.
- He's the third oldest/second youngest of his brothers; Leonardo, Raphael & Michelangelo.
- Donatello is an expert in fields of metallurgy.
- Rob Paulsen, Donatello's VA, voiced Raphael in the 1987 TV series.
- It is revealed at the New York 2012 Comic Con that Donatello has a pet cockroach named Chong, who has already been through one of two mutations and will become a villain.
- He is the only Turtle that does not have an archenemy that he personally dislikes as Leonardo's archenemy is Karai, Raphael's archenemies are Xever, Spider Bytez, and Chong, the Spy-Roach, and Michelangelo's archenemy is Chris Bradford.
- Donatello is the first turtle other than Michelangelo to use the catchphrase "Booyakasha!"
- In Leatherhead's first two appearances, he repeatedly grabs Donatello by the face and shakes him around "like a rag doll."
- Due to his behavior in (and various other episodes), he is the second to Raphael in temper and anger.
- Despite being opposites, Donatello has been shown being really close to Michelangelo.
- When Donatello's T-Phone rings, it has the tune of the intro of the 1987 series.
- In this incarnation, he has a strap over his ninja belt, while in the other incarnations besides the 90s films, he does not; this is the second incarnation other than the 90s films that Donatello has a strap over his ninja belt.
- The first two humans who have entered the lair (April and Timothy) have been closer to Donnie out of the four turtles.
- Donatello appears for the first time without his mask in
- He is also the first turtle to be seen maskless.
- He is the third Turtle to hide completely in his shell as seen in .
- He is right-handed.