Hmm! Well, right off the bat, I’ll have to apologize and say that I can’t speak for 2014 Donnie, because I have yet to see the movie. Might I suggest posing your question regarding that particular version of Don to someone like darthempress? I’m sure she’d have some very keen insight for you!
As for the other two…
Oh sweet, precious Donnie-boy. Actually, this is might be the only version of him where that’s 100% true. 2k3 Don is a soft-spoken, kindhearted, altruistic person who only wants the best for everyone around him. I think his kindness and sense of mercy is even stronger than Leo’s a lot of the time—he’s usually the one who expresses concern for others outside of their circle, or laments the more warlike aspects of their life. Leo is honorable and fair, but people don’t often fall under his scope unless he feels responsible for their plight; Donatello actively wants to help everyone he comes across.
He’s a departure from Mirage Don, who was similarly caring, but could get really, really cranky sometimes, lmao. In fact, 2k12’s Don is way closer to Mirage’s in terms of general pissiness level and number of neurotic freakouts on a per-day basis. And I probably don’t need to elaborate on how different 2k3 Don is from the 80s version. Long story short, he’s cut from a much more original cloth than his brothers were, and I think it’s pretty interesting how they did that.
Donnie really doesn’t want to hurt anybody. He just wants a peaceful life in which he can do SCIENCE. He likes to build big toys, he likes to observe the world, he likes to goof off with his brothers. For someone with a brain big enough to generate its own orbit, his ideal life would be a pleasantly simple one. Fighting isn’t high on his list of priorities—he does take it seriously, because he’s been in enough scrapes to know that he’d be screwed if he didn’t, but he doesn’t have Leo’s or Raph’s obsession with it, or Mikey’s natural talent for it. It’s a tool, a slightly less interesting science, and he treats it as such.
There’s no term I hate more than “pacifist” when describing 2k3 Don, but there’s no arguing that he’s a thinker, not a fighter.
2k3 Don is absolutely not unemotional. When I was little, I thought he was a bit flat… like, he was nice to everyone, but you never really got the feeling he cared about anything very much. I couldn’t have been more wrong, of course. Don isn’t one to lend himself to grand displays of emotion, but he cares. He just expresses his love in ways that we easily take for granted. Single-handedly he’s made a comfortable home for his entire family, including heating, electricity, and running water. He fixes their stuff whenever their dumb asses break it—stuff he probably made for them in the first place, by the way. Don was the first to try to connect with Leo when the latter was beaten within an inch of his life, and he straight-up murdered Shredder without remorse in SAINW to avenge his family. With his intellect, Don could easily strike out on his own and play the genius hermit, but he doesn’t. He sticks around.
Now, as for flaws… all right, as much as he cares about others, the fact is that Don is phlegmatic to an extreme. He despises conflict and will go to pretty great lengths to ignore it. This translates into bountiful passive-aggression, which pretty much everyone but Raph will tolerate, so he gets away with it most of the time.
At the same time, while he’s not as moody as Mirage or 2k12 Don, he… has his moments. Either he’s dancing around conflict or rushing into it full force with a tongue that cuts like a sword. There is little happy medium. His inability to tackle disagreements properly is a definite problem, and it’s probably a good thing that he leaves most of the diplomacy to Leo and Mikey.
Don also obsesses over things. Like, a lot. Once he gets a problem in his head, he won’t let it go until he has the answer—and yes, this usually means figuring it out for himself. Cessation of proper self care becomes a rampant issue, which turns Donnie into a very cranky, miserable turtle. He is no fun to be around when he’s like this, and for the love of god, don’t bring him the toaster you “dropped” on the floor, there’s a freaking sai sticking out of it do you think I’m stupid.
Last but not least, Don is… I don’t want to say dispassionate, but he’s certainly choosy about what he decides is worth his time. If it’s a subject matter he’s interested in, he’ll quote the textbook on it to you verbatim. If it isn’t… eh. Honestly I think it’s a little hard to blame him, with how much he has on his plate, but Don really doesn’t put much stock in expanding his horizons outside of his interests. His attitude towards fighting (a necessity, but not something he spends more time on than what he thinks should be sufficient) is a prime example of this.
It’s also the reason I don’t think 2k3 Don would be a good leader if anything were to happen to Leo: he’s much too happy being the one who doesn’t have to make decisions.
Also, because half of the fandom would hunt me down if I didn’t mention this, 2k3 Don is one sassy little shit. This is not necessarily a flaw. Just fact.
Dear god this is long already >_> I’ll try to keep this one short, which will thankfully be easy. Because, uh… as much as I hate to say it, 2k7 Don doesn’t have anywhere near as much depth as 2k3 Don or even his own brothers. Not to say that he doesn’t have any depth, but 2k7 played painfully blatant favoritism. It was essentially the Raph & Leo Show.
From what we see, 2k7 Don seems like a good mix of the Mirage and 2k3 Dons—brilliant, amiable, a bit snappish at times. He’s even more prone to being passive-aggressive than both of his counterparts, however, and with an even sharper tongue to boot. But look, if I had to sit in a chair for hours telling someone to plug their computer in so it’ll turn on, I’d be pissy, too. I was ready to run away after thirty seconds of trying to direct my mother to the “X” on her browser.
What makes 2k7 Don interesting is that it would seem he was appointed leader while Leo was away, and honestly, he didn’t do too horribly. He and Mikey got jobs, ensuring a decent flow of cash. Raph… well, Raph is Raph. You can either try to wrestle the grumpy rhino or take snippy potshots at it and hope it doesn’t charge at you. He seemed all too happy to hand the role back to Leo, but I think he’s a little more assertive than 2k3 Don; a little more capable of conflict and standing up for himself.
He seems to have a pretty good sense of humor, too, since he gives a few wry comments here and there, especially when examining the dart he’d taken from Raph. Some real brotherly love, right there.
I’m actually floundering a bit, because I want to say more, but there just isn’t that much to go off of. 2k7 Don was even more neglected than Mikey, and it’s such a shame. I would have loved to see more of this version of him.
I think that about sums it up! Sorry it got so long, heh.