Splinter's movie origin more closely followed the original Mirage Comics. Splinter was the pet rat of Hamato Yoshi in Japan who followed the teachings of his owner from his cage. Additionally the biggest change in the 1990 film, is that Splinter escapes from his cage during Hamato Yoshi's murder, and attacked Oroku Saki, clawing at his face while Saki sliced his right ear off in rage. It is suggested this is the reason Saki took the Shredder disguise, to hide his mutilation. After his master's death, Splinter found himself in the sewers of New York where he found four baby turtles.
One morning Splinter awoke to find the turtles playing in a glowing green "goo" spilling out of a broken canister. Soon, he noticed that not only were the turtles changing, so was he. Eventually, he grew to his fully mutated form and began to teach his adoptive sons the ways of honor and the path of the ninja. This version of Splinter is still a brown rat but is not as active like most other versions of Splinter. He is seen wearing tattered grey rags in this movie. When Splinter had been kidnapped by Shredder, the Turtles missed him very much and did everything they could to find him. But Splinter managed to telepathically contact them and thus strengthen their hearts again. Splinter also gives advice to a Foot Clan member named Danny Pennington and convinced him to leave the clan. Later, Casey and Danny Pennington rescue Splinter. In the climax of the film, Splinter saves the turtles from The Shredder and sends him off the side of a building into a garbage truck - at least for the time being.
Where in the first film Splinter was a dignified father figure for the turtles, in the subsequent sequels he became more of the "hip" elderly person offering more and more one-liners with each sequel.
In the 2007 CGI film he had once again reverted to his origins of the dignified master, and father with only a handful of humorous scenes in his role. Splinter sent Leonardo on a long journey to improve his skills. After his return, the Turtles brothers were back together, and he fought with them to defeat the Stone Generals.
- According to the T files on the 1990 movie DVD extras, Splinter's:
- Hobbies are reading and cooking.
- Favorite types of music are traditional Japanese music and Reggae.
- Favorite foods are fresh vegetables and cheese.
- Favorite book is "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" by Ruth Benedict.
- Height is 5'2.
- Weight is 115 lbs.
- Eyes are brown.
- Is left-handed.
- Is partial to both purple and yellow as his favorite colors.