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    Donatello (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2003)

    Donatello Splinterson
    "Donatello, he's the brains of the bunch."
    Gender: Male
    Type: Intelligent and Good Hearted Brother
    Species: Turtle
    Portrayed by: Sam Riegel
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)

    Donatello is voiced by Sam Riegel in this incarnation for the 2003 TV series. Known as "Don", he is the smartest and most technologically-adept Turtle. His personality is still the traditional techno turtle like most incarnations but unlike most of the Donatello incarnations, he is the most passive and is rarely aggressive. His trademark Bō staff was once again his primary weapon, but he has used other weapons such as laser guns and those of his brothers.


    Don is a mutated turtle with a purple mask and brown paddings on his knees, elbows and wrists. He has olive green skin throughout all 7 seasons of the 2003 series.


    Although in this incarnation Don is still the brains of the bunch, he's pacifistic. Sometimes he is a little witty, but he doesn't annoy his brothers. Like in the Mirage comics, Donatello has a complex personality in the 2003 animated series. Several episodes concentrate on him, as well as his emotional and intellectual struggles. As in his other incarnations, Donatello is very book smart, a skilled technician and has a tendency to think things through. Even more pacifistic than his other incarnations, Donatello shows a greater interest in technology than his ninjutsu training.

    During his first Battle Nexus Tournament, despite being a very gifted ninja, he lost in the first round of the competition. 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. Like Leonardo, Donatello does his best to prepare for any situation. For instance during the Turtles' infiltration of the Shredder's tower, where Don carried all the equipment and gadgets they would need in his duffel bag.

    Don is the calmest out of all his brothers. He is gentle, very peaceful, and doesn't really lose his temper. Sometimes he can be a little witty which doesn't bother his brothers, but overall he is a gentle turtle who is well liked by all of his brothers never engaging in major confrontations with them. He rarely fights with them but he doesn't argue with them. In fact, Donatello was the one to reunite his alternate-dimension brothers against the Utrom Shredder in the episode "Same As It Never Was".

    Leatherhead considers Don to be one of the most gentle-natured people he's ever met. In the fourth season, he was infected by a monster, and in the episode "Adventures in Turtle-Sitting", he had mutated into a monster himself (which happened to Raphael in the Mirage comics). When he mutates into a monster, he loses his gentle personality and becomes violent and aggressive. However he does show signs of calming down whenever Master Splinter talks to him and is eventually returned to normal thanks to Baxter Stockman's cure.



    Don was an ordinary baby turtle along with his brothers, until they were exposed to a Mutagen that originated from the TCRI building. Since then Splinter trained them in ninjitsu and raised them as his own children.

    When he was a little older, he went to Japan with Splinter and his brothers to bury Hamato Yoshi's remains near the home of the Ancient One. While there they encountered a Bone Demon that wore an amulet that blinds the wise, but the Turtle Tots were able to see him and helped Splinter and the Ancient One defeat him. Afterwards the Ninja Tribunal erased their memories of the trip and were taken home.

    Skills, powers, and abilities

    • Ninjutsu
    • Intelligence
    • Strength
    • Speed
    • Agility
    • Stamina
    • Dragon Transformation


    • Bō Staff
    • Blasters
    • Ninja Tech Staff




    Donatello has a close relationship with Leonardo and looks to him for guidance, sometimes calling him 'boss', as in the episode "Nano".


    Raphael shares many interests with Donatello and is rarely cross with him. They both enjoy watching football, as seen in "The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 1" and playing video games, as seen in "Nobody's Fool". Raphael often calls him 'Brainiac', but it is said with fondness.


    Although the most easy-going of the turtles, Donatello does find his patience tested by his brother. When Mikey wants something, he has no qualms about bugging the resident genius incessantly, such as when Mikey wants to transform an armored car into the Battle Shell in the episode "Meet Casey Jones". When they are together, Don tends to take Mikey's lead in situations, as seen during the episode "Junklantis".

    Why He Rocks

    1. Along with his brother's, he's very diverse of a character as we Donatello portrayed as the most intelligent turtle of the bunch.
    2. He's the most intelligent of the Turtles and the one that uses brain smarts the most. He has a huge love for technology as shown in the Season 4 episode, Dragon's Rising, he has a huge love for technology and even states that he dreams and adores it.
    3. Similar to his 2012 counterpart, he has an awesome companionship with April O’Neil. Throughout the series, we truly see that out of the 4, Donatello is the one who cares for April the most.
    4. He's very smart, stealth and good-hearted.
    5. Alongside his brother, his fights (whether it be with the Foot Clan, Shredder or any other villain) are nothing short of awesome.
    6. He has awesome skills at using staff-like weapons.
    7. He's kind, friendly, helpful, intelligent and persistent of a character.
    8. This adaptation shows he has great technology smarts. Similar to WIR #1 stated, Donatello truly adores technology.
    9. He's also an inventor that is able to develop multiple advanced devices such as
    10. He is the only turtle to barely get angry at times and alongside Leonardo and He is one of the most mature cartoon characters in general. Unlike Raphael and Leonardo (To some extent), he never seems to lose his temper and is the only turtle, even when he's annoyed, never seems to lose his temper immediately.
    11. He has a great relationship with all the turtles and humans that he ever meets.
    12. His voice actor, Sam Riegel, does a great job voicing the character and brings him to life.
    13. Along with his brother's, he was at his best in "Enter the Dragons" and "Turtles Forever" as he sacrifices himself in order to keep the world safe and never gives up.

    Bad Qualities

    1. While not too notable and he was still likable, he was flanderized in season 7 as he became a huge bossy and cared only for his job than his friends. Thankfully, he was fully back to his original personality.
    2. His obsession with science and technology can come off as creepy to some. The season 4 episode, "Dragon's Rising" where he tells April that he dreams of sleeping with high tech for himself.


    • Like his brothers, Donatello is a practitioner of Qi Gong, as shown in "Turtles in Space - Part 3: The Big House".
    • His favorite book is "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking.
    • His favorite music is Classical, "Classic" Rock, the Roches.
    • His favorite foods are pizza and sushi.
    • Unlike other versions, Donatello's nickname in this incarnation is spelled "Donny", according to 'the Way of the Warrior", a sourcebook published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


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