Donatello is a member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and one of the four main protagonists of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. He is generally depicted as the genius of the group who has a tendency to confuse his brothers with his overly-detailed scientific observations and thinking.
He wears a purple bandanna and utilities a bo-staff in battle.
1987 animated series
The 1987 animated television series depicts Donatello as the 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 1987 series's original Donatello's voice actor is Barry Gordon with Greg Berg as the 1989 alternate voice actor. In the 25th anniversary movie Turtles Forever, Donatello was voiced by Anthony Haden Salerno. Gordon reprised the role of the 1987 Donatello in two episodes of the 2012 TV series, "Wormquake!" and "Trans-Dimensional Turtles".
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
Donatello appeared in the live-action series, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, as well as the crossover episode of Power Rangers in Space portrayed by Richard Yee and voiced by Jason Gray-Stanford.
2003 animated series
Like the Mirage comics, Donatello has a complex personality in the 2003 animated series. Donatello is voiced by Sam Riegel in the original English version and Yuji Ueda in the Japanese version. 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 his younger brother 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", having been sent to an alternate future where the team fell apart after he vanished. His skin color is a medium olive 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.
By the time of Turtles Forever, the 2003 Donatello is in total disbelief over the scientific aptitude of his 1987 counterpart, in which the alternate Donatello replied, "Science isn't all just facts and figures", although the two still manage to work together to track their enemies.
2012 animated series
Donatello, as depicted in the 2012 Nickelodeon series.
Donatello returns in Nickelodeon's new 2012 animated series, now wielding a bō staff which converts to a naginata (Japanese halberd). In this version, Donatello has a crush on April O'Neil (who is also in teenage years in this adaptation). It appears that 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 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 than his brothers. Donnie is voiced by Rob Paulsen (who was Raph's voice actor in the 1987 animated series).
2018 animated series
In the 2018 animated series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Josh Brener is to voice "Donatello, an unflappable mechanical genius and tech wizard whose ninja skills are second only to his coding."
Original trilogy (1990-1993)
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 movie 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 and later astutely labels Casey Jones a claustrophobic). He takes his time deciding on the most appropriate victory cheers, though his choices are sometimes quite perplexing (for example, "Bossa Nova!"). However, the second film clearly established Donatello as the most scientifically-minded turtle as well as the most introspective, feeling dejected when he learns that the ooze that created the Turtles only exists because of an accident, although Splinter consoles his dejection by pointing out that the circumstances of their origins cannot define their present worth.
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 film, Donatello runs an IT tech support line to earn money for the family and keeps an eye on Mikey. In the first half of the movie Donatello's skills are more focused on keeping the family together and on income than instead of inventing inventions and finding creative ways to solve problems. It is a combined effort of Leo being gone, Raph unable to control his temper and Donnie's leadership and logically minded skills that add up-to the reason as why he's been put into this position. With the combined efforts of all of these reasons is why Donnie and Raph argue more in this film than in most other depictions of their relationship. Raph is angry that Donnie has been named leader instead of himself while Leo is away and Donnie is angry that Raph hasn't been pulling his weight to support them. To add to this matter is the fact that 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 depicts Donatello as a second in command 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 Raphael 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.
In this film, Donnie also seems to show a bit more emotional care for Mikey than in the previous films. According to the short "Mikey's Birthday Party" Donnie helps Mikey with his job as a character entertainer named "Cowabunga Carl" by communicating with Mikey via cameras and head gear in order to remind him to hand-out flyers and to get cash (not checks). This seems to irritate Mikey to a large degree. (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.
Donatello appears in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles portrayed by Jeremy Howard. In this film, Donatello the brains of the team and relies heavily on high-tech equipment and gear. His personality in this film is very calm and measured, and was also given a much more nerdyportrayal than in previous adaptations, on account of his large glasses with the middle taped. He also has a similar personality to his 1987 and 2003 counterparts where he is always talking of calculations and constantly confusing his brothers with them. He is also the one who stopped the toxic poison that Shredder had activated on Sacks Tower. Like Michelangelo and Leonardo, Donatello wears a glove on his left hand, has a tech pack on his shell and boots although you can partly see his toes making only him, Raphael and Michelangelo the only turtles to stay true to their other incarnations with the two toes. Donatello appears in the sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.