Donatello is a spiny softshell turtle who was mutated to become part human and is the Mad Dogs' resident tech-head. He is one of the main protagonists of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He wielded a high-tech version of bō, but converted to using a traditional staff.
Donatello is a mutant spiny softshell turtle with jade green skin, a light brown plastron, and a brown and green carapace with dark brown spots. The vertebrae of his spine protrude from underneath his carapace and he has geometric purple markings on his shoulders and thighs. He also has a large head, yellow sclerae and teeth, thick black eyebrows, three fingers on each hand, and two toes on each foot.
He wears a purple mask that covers the top of his head with short rectangular mask tails and a silver pair of asymmetric goggles with one red (right) and one blue (left) lens. He wears purple fingerless gloves and socks, a silver tech-gauntlet on his wrist with a blue touchscreen, purple knee and elbow pads, a purple belt with matching pouches, and the Turtle emblem placed on the center. He also wears a purple battle shell that fits over his real shell.
Donnie has an aptitude for recklessness, reveling in thrilling, dangerous activities such as when he tests the Turtle Tank’s taxi rocket and enjoys the experience despite having no control of the vehicle and traveling hundreds of feet into the air in “Late Fee”. He also has a violent streak as Donnie regularly attempts to physically attack others with little hesitance and can be wild, typically acting more like a deranged scientist than a heedful man of knowledge.
Donnie loves the dramatic as much as he himself is dramatic, at times erupting into song, generally talking in a grandiose manner about himself and events, and prone to being extravagant with his plans, such as when he desired uranium for his inventions in “Down with the Sickness”.
While Donnie perceives himself as being emotionless, in reality, he is quite passionate such as being easily irritated, especially when others don’t listen and/or appreciate his intelligence, excitable sometimes the point of distraction such as when sees Atomic Lass in Times Square and loses focus on the mission in “Mascot Melee”, and deeply saddened and hurt discovering that Splinter lied to him and Michelangelo in “Turtle-dega Nights: Ballad of Rat Man”. He also longs for genuine praise, particularly from adults. Despite his aforementioned emotionality, Donnie does have a tendency to be aloof.
Donnie can be argumentative, contradicting others' viewpoints with his own and insistently trying to convince others that he is correct. He is especially staunch in his opinions on the sciences, seeing them as superior to mystic powers and as such refusing to utilize them throughout the series, unlike his fellow Mad Dogs. This is derived from Donnie’s cocky nature. He has a great amount of confidence in himself and his skills and enjoys reinforcing others’ faith in him as well, leading him to show off and consequently panic if things go awry such as when he is more concerned about whether or not the Turtle Tank working improperly is his fault in “The Mutant Menace” rather than the fact that it is working improperly.
Donnie can be irresponsible, blaming others for his mistakes or denying his part in a problem such as in “Al Be Back” where he claims to have no memory of accidentally making Albearto evil. However, he has shown improvement in this as he acknowledges that he was wrong to treat S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N. so unpityingly in "Breaking Purple" and apologizes to him.
Donnie has a tendency to be passive-aggressive. Instead of directly confronting his brothers about their bad habits, he presents "gifts" that would force them to give up their habits in “Donnie’s Gifts”. Donnie is often sarcastic and has an inclination for cynicism as well. As such he can often be rude, rarely unintentionally so. He often insults his brothers, especially when he is not in the mood for their company, and tends to find them to be annoyingly predictable in their behaviors as expressed in "The Longest Fight" and "One Man's Junk".
Donnie’s pride in his inventions as well as the sheer amount of them created to aid him in combat results in him relying more on his technology than his foundation in ninjutsu, causing his skills to stagnate, though this is an issue his brothers also share.
Donnie began life as a juvenile turtle in Baron Draxum's laboratory. Wishing to create a mutant army with formidable combat capabilities, Draxum used Lou Jitsu's DNA paired with his ooze to turn Donnie from an ordinary turtle into a mutant. He and his brothers were then stolen from Draxum's laboratory by Lou Jitsu promptly after their mutation and Donnie went on to be raised in the sewers of New York City alongside his brothers by Splinter. Eventually, Donnie and his brothers met a human girl named April O'Neil and forged a strong bond with her through the years.
Donnie is the coolest tech wiz ever. Being a soft-shell turtle may be a drawback in the ninja world, but with his series of battle shells and transforming bo-staff, Donnie can take on any foe!
- Bōjutsu: Donnie has been trained in wielding a bō and is quite proficient in it. However, due to his Tech-Bō’s transforming capability, Donnie is also versed in using a variety of other weapons such as mallets and guns.
- Genius intellect: Donnie is exceptionally intelligent at a level that far surpasses the average human. His intelligence allows him to understand and apply whatever he studies with a high level of proficiency. Donnie’s knowledge spans a vast array of disciplines including, but not limited to: chemistry, literature, cryptology, physics, engineering, biology, mathematics, and to a lesser extent, mystic properties.
- Enhanced fabrication: Donnie can create functional high-tech objects/weaponry, decorative art such as sculptures, and tools at varying levels of complexity with relative ease and at an astounding rate. This includes architectural work and construction using natural materials such as wood.
- Enhanced memory: Donnie can mentally write lyrical songs to retain information immediately upon receiving it as shown in “Mystic Library”.
- Animal communication: Donnie was able to speak with beavers and squirrels in “Todd Scouts”, ordering them to destroy the tree fort he built.
- Ninjutsu: Donnie is skilled in basic ninjutsu, but due to Splinter’s reluctance to advance their training and the Turtles’ own lack of focus on learning the art, he and his brothers’ skills aren’t honed.
- Stealth: As a practitioner of ninjutsu, Donnie can slip in and out of areas undetected. These skills significantly improved after additional instruction in "The Ancient Art of Ninja Hide and Seek".
- Speed: Donnie possesses a great amount of speed, capable of moving in bursts faster than the eye can follow.
- Agility: Donnie’s agility allows him to successfully dodge attacks and perform sharp twists and flips.
- Strength: Donnie possesses strength greater than the average human.
- Hamato Ninpō: As a member of the Hamato Clan, Donnie is capable of tapping into his clan's energy to unleash his own mystic might.
- Weapon generation: Donnie can use random objects to form weaponry, namely a bō.
- Tech formation: Donnie can create or link with variations of his inventions, even improving them.
- Hamato Ninpō: As a member of the Hamato Clan, Donnie is capable of tapping into his clan's energy to unleash his own mystic might.
- Shurikenjutsu: Donnie has been shown wielding shuriken multiple times throughout the series.
- Ninja mind meld: Donnie is capable of telepathically exchanging strategies with his brothers, heightening team coordination.
- Lip reading: Donnie can understand what others are saying by merely observing their mouth movements as shown in "Bullhop".
- Durability: Due to his mutation, Donnie’s body can experience a higher threshold of physical trauma without lasting repercussions than the average human.
- Shell retraction: Due to his mutation, Donnie is able to fully retreat into his shell.
- Pressure points: By manipulating pressure points on others' bodies, Donnie is capable of reversing Marcus Moncrief's paralyzing nerve pinch technique.
- Skateboarding: Donnie is a seasoned skateboarder and enjoys it as one of his hobbies.
- Dancing: Donnie is quite a proficient dancer and enjoys it to the point where his password for several of his inventions and his video game gamer tag, “Bootyyyshaker9000”, is a reference to his dancing skills.
- Guitar playing: Donnie knows how to play the electric guitar as shown in “One Man’s Junk”.
- Singing: Donnie sings the most frequently out of the Mad Dogs and has showcased his singing ability multiple times throughout the series like in "Donnie vs. Witch Town".
- Donatello's parent(s)
- Hamato Yoshi / Lou Jitsu / Splinter: Splinter is Donnie's father. Donnie has a somewhat rough relationship with Splinter. He punishes Splinter taking the Turtle Tank for a secret joyride in "The Fast and the Furriest" just as Splinter would do to him. However, it is shown in "Turtle-dega Nights: The Ballad of Rat Man" that Donnie deeply desires Splinter's attention and will forgo his typical logical approach just to spend time with him. Donnie doesn't wish to parent S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N. as Splinter did him as revealed in "Breaking Purple".
- Baron Draxum: Draxum is Donnie's father. During their first encounter in "Mystic Mayhem", Donnie demonstrated the greatest skill among his brothers in one-on-one melee combat against Draxum and he was the Mad Dogs' adversary throughout season 1. Despite him becoming a part of his family, Donnie still remains cold towards Draxum. However, he did request his help in "Air Turtle" when Leo accidentally turned a basketball team into mystic monsters, regarding Draxum as an expert in mystic powers. Compared to his brothers, Donnie's personality is actually closest to that of Draxum, both being sullen, flamboyant mad scientists with a smug arrogant streak, similar tastes in laboratory décor, and even the same distinct moody style of black eyebrows.
- Raphael: Donnie deeply respects and loves Raph, however, Raph's antics can irritate him. Donnie finds Raph's love for smashing through situations uninteresting at times and wants him to embrace his science more frequently rather than just his inventions. However, Donnie appreciates Raph's physical protection towards him.
- Michelangelo: Donnie cares deeply about Mikey and has had adventures with him like as seen in "Repo Mantis". While he can be annoyed by Mikey at times, they usually get along very well. Donnie takes his advice seriously in "Breaking Purple" and trusts that he would help with personal goals as seen in "Mind Meld". Donnie thinks Mikey needs to stop jumping around recklessly or he might get hurt as seen in "Donnie's Gifts". Occasionally, Donnie disbelieves Mikey's intuition, but is not hesitant to admit he was wrong when proven otherwise.
- Leonardo: Donnie doesn't get along with Leo most of the time, finding his near-constant remarks to be unamusing and annoying. He also is irritated by Leo's attention-seeking stunts and general exuberance, despite Donnie also often being energetic himself. He harbors little patience for Leo compared to the rest of his family and can be competitive with him. Despite this, there are times where he is harmonious with Leo usually when he and his brother's attention is focused on a single goal such as helping April bond with a friend.
- April O'Neil: April and Donnie are prone to feeding off of each others' adrenaline highs and going on crazy adventures. They are also prone to moderate arguments. Donnie usually jumps at opportunities to help April with her problems, however, he often accidentally worsens them or creates an entirely new issue for her to resolve instead.
- Piebald: Piebald is technically Donnie's sister, though they did not meet as mutants until "Flushed but Never Forgotten" when she worked with Franken-Foot and Splinter to prank him and his brothers for flushing her down the toilet and lying about having done it.
- S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N.: Donnie has a father-son relationship with S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N. Initially Donnie created him to do chores for him and the rest of his family. However, as time went on, Donnie grew more attached to S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N., and is now very fond of him, dutifully changing his coolant three times a day and lovingly scratching him behind his ears as expressed in "Cloak and Swaggart". S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N. would later sacrifice his own life trying to save his family from an onslaught by the Shredder during the destruction of their lair.
- Hamato Karai: Karai is Donnie's ancestral grandmother. After learning her relation to him in "Shreddy or Not", Donnie was quick to try to impress Karai with his tech and was immediately rewarded with a basic compliment from an authority figure—something Donnie had struggled to get out of Splinter all his life.
Friends and Allies
- Mayhem: Upon first meeting him in "Mystic Mayhem", Donnie thought Mayhem was a St. Bernard. The two of them also share the same favorite Jupiter Jim movie.
- Todd Capybara: Donnie helped Todd build a facility for his Cuddle Cakes Puppy Rescue in exchange for the repossession of his recreational vehicle in "Repo Mantis". While he does not share Todd's love for the wilderness, Donnie still holds at least some respect for him.
- Franken-Foot: Donnie accepted Franken-Foot as a friend once Raph confessed his fondness for him in "Sparring Partner".
- Cassandra Jones / Foot Recruit: Casey used to be in the Foot Clan and was previously an enemy to Donnie and his brothers. She finally defected from the Foot and became the Hamato Clan's ally in "Rise".
- Gentry: Donnie seems to be fine with Gentry. Although he did cause her a considerable amount trouble when he met her in "Donnie vs. Witch Town".
- Marcus Moncrief: Donnie deeply admires Marcus Moncrief's work in the Jupiter Jim franchise and is often thrilled to interact with him.
- Red Fox: Donnie seems to have respect for Red Fox and sought her out to reunite her with Marcus Moncrief in "Sidekick Ahoy!".
- Stanley / Bullhop: Donnie seemed to be the least sympathetic towards Bullhop and his situation when he encountered him again in "Bullhop". As opposed to his brothers who became weary of him over time, Donnie seemed to immediately be tired of him once he and his brothers brought him to the lair. He was very irritated when Bullhop flew using his battle shell in his laboratory.
- Sunita: Donnie likes Sunita's fashion sense and encourages her and April's friendship. He was saved by her when Foot Brute attacked him in "Operation: Normal".
- Repo Mantis: Donnie and Mikey bargained (and later stole) the Jupiter Jim Moon Buggy from Repo Mantis Salvage that was later modified into the Turtle Tank. Donnie later posed as a junk mogul in "One Man's Junk" to search for a piece of the Kuroi Yōroi in his scrapyard. When S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N. ran away from the lair in "Breaking Purple", Donnie went to Repo's scrapyard to look for him and felt guilty overhearing Repo talk about the importance of healthy communication between parents and their children, knowing that his relationship with S.H.E.L.L.D.O.N. didn't reflect that.
- Guardsmen: Donnie fought Garm and Freki in aid of Mayhem as they tried to capture him in "Mystic Mayhem".
- Huginn & Muninn: Donnie was often in conflict with Huginn and Muninn as henchmen to Draxum as they helped him fulfill his goals.
- Albearto: Donnie created the faulty upgrades that turned Albearto evil in "War and Pizza", but denies this and claims he has no memory of doing so.
- Cheery Tomato: Using his spider shell, Donnie electrocuted Cheery when she trapped him a ball pit in "War and Pizza" and seems to be attracted to her.
- DIGG: Donnie tried to stop DIGG from destroying New York pizza parlors, but was friendly towards them when he realized that they merely wanted to perform their music publicly.
- Prairie Dog: Donnie confronted Prairie Dog in their final fight, baselessly insisting that she hated both him and his brothers personally and pizza as well. However, he came to realize his assumptions were incorrect.
- Mezmer-Ron / Hypno-Potamus: Donnie faced Hypno in "The Evil League of Mutants" when him and the Evil League of Mutants attacked him and his brothers and he was able to defeat him using a ladder. Later in "Battle Nexus: New York", Hypno was Donnie's teammate in Big Mama's Battle Nexus Wizbang, set to oppose Cortex in a chess match. However, he relied on Hypno to win the match as he was turned into a chess piece during the game.
- Mrs. Cuddles: Donnie didn't believe that Mrs. Cuddles was sentient despite Raph's vehement warnings and even after realizing she was alive with malicious intent remained unafraid of her. It was wasn't until she wielded his Tech-Bō against him that Donnie became fearful of Mrs. Cuddles where he was then captured by her in his laboratory.
- The Purple Dragons: Donnie initially admired the Purple Dragons for their intellect and conceited attitudes. He briefly joined them under the name Othello von Ryan in order to own one of their exclusive purple club jackets, which itself was embedded with technology the Purple Dragons secretly used to steal his tech.
- Kendra: Despite Donnie disliking Kendra, the two actually share the same sharp banter and inflated ego. Kendra later tricked him into piloting a robot that attacked New York and his brothers under the guise of the Purple Game. Donnie was able to stop the robot from crushing his brothers using his battle shells.
- Jeremy: Donnie was able to briefly bond with Jeremy over his battle shells' inner workings in "The Purple Jacket", but was later angered by him and his club's thievery of his inventions.
- Warren Stone: Donnie found Warren's regrowth ability to be very intriguing during his first encounter with him. When he and his brothers were lured to a TV station by Warren in "Newsworthy", Donnie thought that he was a hippo calf in his new form. While Donnie, like most people, never remembers who Warren is, he was the only one to remember that he has the ability to regenerate in "Warren & Hypno, Sitting in a Tree" and attempted to sever his arm from his body to obtain the gauntlet of the Kuroi Yōroi.
- Gus: Donnie first met Gus in "Bug Busters" as he used him and his brothers' scent to track down Leo in the Grand Nexus Hotel. He later succeeded in stealing Gus' ID tag from his collar in "The Ancient Art of Hide and Seek".
- Atomic Lass: Donnie was excited to meet Atomic Lass as she is his favorite character from the Jupiter Jim franchise, crush, and, in his own words, his "hero". He was able to dance and flirt with her, but ended up accidentally knocking the head of her costume off with his Tech-Bō after she attacked him in "Mascot Melee". Donnie defeated Atomic Lass after being chased up an LED display by her.
- Baxter Stockboy: Donnie set out with his brothers to complete kind acts of service for New Yorkers after hearing about his family's bad reputation spread by Baxter in "The Mutant Menace". He fired a bowling ball from the Turtle Tank at Baxter's Stock & Shop blimp, forcing him to abandon it via parachute.
- Mrs. Nubbins: Donnie recaptured Mrs. Nubbins in "One Man's Junk" after she was accidentally released from her enclosure by Raph and Leo and attempted to eat Repo.
- Rupert Swaggart / Meat Sweats: Donnie was kidnapped by Meat Sweats when he first met him in "Donnie's Gifts", nearly being cooked by him, but was saved by his brothers.
- Big Mama: Big Mama was apparently the first parent-aged adult to compliment an invention of Donnie's and he initially liked her very much, until her betrayal of the Mad Dogs in "Bug Busters".
- The Foot Clan: The Foot Clan are the sworn enemy of the Hamato Clan. Donnie led the Mad Dogs to the Foot Clan after searching for crime reports online in "Origami Tsunami".
- Foot Lieutenant:
- Foot Brute:
- Oroku Saki / The Shredder: Saki is technically Donnie's human ancestor as he is the ancestor of the Hamato bloodline through Karai. Donnie has displayed a deep fear of the Shredder as seen in "Many Unhappy Returns." At a New York ship yard, Donnie attempted to attack Shredder using all of his inventions, but he was entirely unfazed. Donnie's battle shell was then destroyed by Shredder as he tried to flee and in a panic, Donnie threw a handkerchief at Shredder's eyes, briefly blinding and disorienting him.
- Ghostbear: Donnie attended what would have been Ghostbear's 200th wresting match victory alongside his brothers in "Shell in a Cell" and assisted Raph and Leo when they were losing the fight against him. Later, his family day-out at a park was ruined by Ghostbear in "Snow Day" and he worked to defeat him alongside the other Mad Dogs.
- Harold / Stinkbomb: Donnie met Stinkbomb when he and his brothers broke into a New York botanical garden for fun in "How to Make Enemies and Bend People to Your Will". Donnie was seemingly unable to defeat him, overwhelmed by his noxious spit.
- Alex Noe: Donnie snuck into Doctor Noe's camp when he and his Tooth Fairies abducted Todd in "Todd Scouts". As he fled his camp accompanied by Todd, Donnie was pursued by them and was struck with their numbing darts.
- Mayor Mira: Donnie didn't accept Mira's welcome to Witch Town and was generally aloof towards her, trying to passive-aggressively assert that her use of mystic powers were inferior to science. Donnie was banished by Mira from the town after accidentally obliterating the town's crown statue. After fending off Morgan, he apologized to her and the entirety of Witch Town for his behavior and attitude, but he wasn't forgiven and Mira had him arrested by the Hidden City police for his disruption of the Peace Offering Festival.
- Scor-Pion: When Marcus Moncrief and Raph were threatened by Scor-Pion in "Sidekick Ahoy!", Donnie staunchly deactivated his explosives and eventually caused him to flee the fight.
- The Sando Brothers: Donnie sought to defeat the Sando Brothers after him and his brothers discovered they were disrupting a school field trip in "The Evil League of Mutants", but was unable to defeat them. Despite being enemies, he later saved the Sando Brothers in "Man vs. Sewer" from being cooked by Raph in his Savage Raph state.
- This version of Donnie is the first have an artificial shell in a TMNT TV series or film and the third time he has had an artificial shell in a licensed TMNT work overall.
- The first is the Image version, whose shell was shattered from a high fall, but whose life was saved by a shape-shifting A.I. who, among its various forms, fashioned an artificial shell. The second is the IDW version, whose carapace is prosthetic after having lost his original biological one.
- Donnie being a softshell turtle may suggest that his carapace is more susceptible than his brothers' as well as previous incarnations of the character.
- Donnie retreats into his shell in "Lair Games" (only having difficulty because of a leg cast), something real-life softshell turtles can't do due to their reduced plastrons and carapaces.
- Donnie is stated to be a bit more confident than his previous incarnations and he also knows that he is good at what he does.
- Donnie is the only Turtle to have visible eyebrows (only on his mask, however).
- According to "Lair Games", he has been drawing them on for nine years.
- Donnie has a peculiar fear of beach balls.
- It was first mentioned in "War and Pizza", but it was first seen in "Mind Meld".
- There is also a brief flashback in "Lair Games" that references it.
- Other fears of his mentioned in "War and Pizza" are bees and spiders.
- When asked why Donnie fears beach balls in August 2020, Rise of the TMNT writer Russ Carney answered in a Tweet, "Just some strange affect that makes him weird(er).".
- Donnie used to wear glasses when he was younger as shown in "Lair Games" and "End Game". For how long is currently unknown.
- Donnie apparently has several inventions that are in "beta", such as his FAB (Foam Agent Bonding) spray and his giant drill (as seen in "Donnie's Gifts" and "Stuck on You", respectively).
- Donnie is the only Turtle who chose not to wield a mystic weapon.
- Instead of a weapon, he carries a mystic crystal in his goggles, which makes him able to see mystical activities and energy hidden to the naked eye.
- Donnie is of the opinion that geology is boring ("Mystic Library").
- A running gag is that Donnie's inventions tend to go rogue.
- As mentioned by Raph in "Snow Day", Donnie sings all the musical parts of Jupiter Jim's Pluto Vacation IV.
- Donnie's least favorite animals are monkeys.
- One of Donnie's catchphrases is "No probbles", an alteration of the phrase "No problem".
- In "War and Pizza", Donnie states that his type is "cute but mean".
- The reason Donnie doesn't wear jackets is that they could get caught in the rotors of his battle shell ("The Purple Jacket").
- As shown in "Donnie vs. Witch Town", Donnie believes that he wouldn't be needed if magic is shown to be superior to science.
- Donnie doesn't like Hawaiian pizza as expressed in "The Hidden City Job", although his voice actor does.
- Donnie is the first Turtle in the series to be seen without his mask ("The Purple Jacket").
- Donnie claims to "record everything" in "The Clothes Don't Make the Turtle".
- It can be presumed that Donnie is right-handed as he consistently wears his tech-gauntlet on his left wrist and operates it with his right hand.
- As shown in "Air Turtle", it seems that when it comes to sports, Donnie pretends to be ignorant on every aspect of the game, seemingly to lower others' expectations of his abilities as he is poor at playing. Going so far as to act like he doesn't know how to pronounce "basketball".
- Like Mikey and Leo, Donnie has markings on his skin, unlike them however, his are lineless (with the exception of Leo's facial stripes).
- In February 2020, it was revealed from Rise of the TMNT writer Russ Carney in a Tweet that, "Two characters we looked at when thinking about the direction #rottmnt's Mikey and Donnie should go, were Troy and Abed from Community.".
- In August 2020, it was revealed from Rise of the TMNT writer Ron Corcillo in a Tweet that Donnie's Hamato Ninpō power was originally planned to be exclusively mystic like his brothers', stating, "Josh Brener himself deserves a lot of credit for this moment (as well as our amazing board team and story editor [Tony Gama-Lobo]. We originally had [Donnie] fully embrace his mystic power, but Josh felt it wasn't true to the character, so it was changed to a mystic-tech combo.".
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