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- NOTE: This article covers Donatello from the Mirage Comics TMNT continuity. For the other iterations see Donatello.
Donatello is one of the four protagonists of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 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 is the third eldest/second youngest of the turtles.
He wears a purple bandana 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.
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.