Donatello or Donnie is the brains of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is in charge of the design and manufacture of all the tools and weapons in their arsenal. He fights with a bō, which converts to a naginata (in which a blade pops out of one end).
Donatello is extremely intelligent and technical, always 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 in other words, high-strung, (but not nearly like Raphael), getting frustrated easily, and shouting when angry, although Donatello is usually kind, caring, and compassionate. 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.
Donatello may not be the strongest, experienced, or most talented fighter, but his tactical skills and intelligence definitely makes up for it. He has a good line of defense, and is the best at planning strategies.
- Intelligence: 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.
- Bōjutsu: Donatello was trained by Splinter in the use of the bō staff. 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. In the episode Metalhead, Donatello found rather his weapon rather ineffective against the Kraang's more advanced technology, even referring to it as a "stupid stick". However, the opposite proved to be true as he defeated Metalhead with his staff.
- 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.
- Ono Proficiency: In Vision Quest, Donatello forged an ono as his weapon to go into the spirit plane.
- Kyūjutsu: Donatello also possess aptitude in archery and uses a yumi and arrow to fight long-ranged.
- Shurikenjutsu: Donatello can throw shiruken with remarkable accuracy and even make calculations to have them bounce off surfaces and strikes multiple enemies.
- Strength: Although not the strongest of the turtles, Donatello possesses an adequate level of strength. In Vision Quest, during his fight a spiritual projection of Tiger Claw, who claimed to be twice Donnie's size and three times his strength, Donnie was able to stand his ground toss him over the mountain.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
However, in battle, his staff is often broken or destroyed, which implies he has several. 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 one of his sai through its head. 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.
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 takes away all their weapons, stating that anything can be useful for true fighters. When Donatello and his brothers are trying to save Timothy, Donatello uses a broom 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.
- 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 often, but never try to hurt each other physically. 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 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 Spy Roch, 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 the third Turtle to hide completely in his shell as seen in .