A fictional team of four teenage anthromorphic turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is also called as Ninja Turtles and shortened as TMNT.
They are known to fight against petty criminals, evil overlords, mutated creatures and alien invaders while attempting to remain hidden from the society. They are named after four Renaissance artists and trained by their anthromorphic rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu.
Before expanding into cartoon series, films, video games, toys and other general merchandise, it first originated in comic books published by Mirage Studios. It gained popularity in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello. These four ninja turtles are distinctly identified according to their colors. So which ninja turtle wears blue, orange, red and purple? Read on.
Blue Ninja Turtle Name
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ colors are blue, orange, dark red and purple. The one to which the color blue belongs is Leonardo or Leo. He is the ninja turtle with blue mask.
Michelangelo wears the orange mask. While Raphael wears a dark red mask and Donatello, the purple mask wearer.
Leonardo Ninja Turtle
Leonardo, or Leo as shortened, is depicted as the eldest and the leader of the four turtles. Likewise, he is the most disciplined. He is further depicted as the tactical, courageous leader and devoted student of his sensei.
He wears a blue mask and wields two katana. He often bears the burden of responsibility for his brothers, being the most conscientious of the four. Having that burden of responsibility, it often leads to a conflict with Raphael.
His name is after the Italian polymath, painter, engineer, inventor, writer, anatomist and sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has seen in so many platforms such as:
- Comics (Mirage, Image, Archie and IDW)
- Television (1987 Animated Series, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, 2003 Animated Series, 2012 CGI Animated Series)
- Films (Original Trilogy 1990-1993, CGI Movie 2007, Series Relaunch)
In Mirage, Leonardo is never explicitly identified himself as the leader of the nikas in the early stories except the 44th issue entitled “The Violent Underground”. Usually, he takes charge of the other ninja turtles when Master Splinter is not around.
Often he faces conflict with Raphael, his most hot-headed brother.
In the 3rd volume of the Image Comics series, Leonardo was initially portrayed similarly with his persona in Mirage. Later issues exhibited that he lost a hand when it was eaten by King Komodo.
With this, he initially used a prosthetic hand given by Donatello though he preferred much to wear a steel cap which has a retractable blade.
The Archie Comics likewise released its series as an adaptation of the 1987 animated series. In this, Leonardo was naturally portrayed like his animated counterpart. Progressing, the series, it began telling original stories.
Leonardo showed a rather strong dislike for firearms, A future version of Leonardo was likewise depicted having found a ninja school.
In the ninja school, Leonardo’s top students were: Nobuko, Miles, Carmen and Bob. These students have treated each one as a member of an extended family, with Bob referring to the ninja turtles as uncles.
Going on the version of IDW Comics, Leonardo is initially presented similarly to his Mirage counterpart. Leonardo is again depicted as the eldest among the ninja turtles and the calmest among them.
The theme song of the 1987 TMNT TV Series out rightly said that Leonardo is the leader of the ninjas. His orders are usually followed. Leo is a very serious do-gooder who hardly ever makes wise cracks.
In one of the episodes, he suffered a crisis of confidence which led him to leave the group and do some soul searching. When this happened, all his brothers tied at being the leader in his stead.
They found out that no one among them could match the leadership skills of Leonardo. Leo then came back to them.
In the cartoon series on the other hand, he is shown to have a very level head, akin to his leadership qualities in the comic. As the series progressed, he became more reactionary and at times would screech in the very high pitched voice.
The difference from the original, deeper pitch of Leonardo in the first season is presumably a result of the writers downplaying Leonardo as a hero in favor of Michelangelo and Raphael, who gained more audience popularity.
The Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation which was released in 1997 to 1998, Leonardo along with the other Ninja Turtles was featured in a short-lived live action series, as well as a crossover episode with Power Rangers in Space.
In the said series, Leonardo is armed with one double bladed ninjaken instead of two and his rivalry with his brother Raphael drove many episodes.
In one of the episodes, where Leonardo and Raphael were sparring, the latter took advantage of Leo’s apparent physical weakening, insulting, mocking and taunting his brother to make him more reckless, until finally Leo lost his temper and angrily kicked Raphael.
Hardly kicking Raphael, Leonardo sent him flying across the sewer den. The rest of the episode showed them arguing and challenging each other to tests of skill until finally using arm wrestling to decide who would live in the sewer and who would leave.
Although Leo won, it was decided that Raph should stay.
In the 2003 animated series by Mirage Studios and 4Kids Entertainment, Leonardo is depicted as the de facto leader of the group and the most spiritual among the ninja turtles.
He was very close with Splinter and has a strong sense of honor, ethics and Bushido. The twin swords of Leonardo are slung across his back. Leonardo is also referred as the Turtle who saves the day in some episodes.
There are also moments that Leonardo is shown as one who is very hard on himself because he feels that a lot is expected of him. Like in the Mirage Comincs, Leonardo is ambushed and seriously injured by the Foot Clan and he feels he let his family and himself down.
He has the same feelings after the final battle with the Shredder, his anger and self-doubt was caused by Karai, whom he believed was an honorable ally, but she was unable to go against her master’s orders, eventually causing her to stab Leonardo.
Leonardo also has a feeling that he is extremely inadequate, as he believes that he let himself and his family down.
In the fourth season, Leonardo becomes increasingly stern with himself and adopts a greatly aggressive personality. He also showed less reluctance in using violence to interrogate people and devoted himself to even greater lengths of training.
The fifth season of the series depicted that Leonardo is the only one who doesn’t receive a weapon from the Spirit Forge.
Again, Leonardo leads the team in the version of CGI Animated Series. In this, Leonardo seemed to be more experienced and still perfecting his fighting skills and leadership abilities to make more solid decisions and to gain more trust from his three brothers.
Leonardo has been an avid viewer of Space heroes, an animated science fiction. He uses it as a guide for his leadership skills, often attempting to quote from the show in an attempt to sound intimidating and heroic, even if mist of his attempts fall flat due to him sounding overly cliché.
As shown in the Film, particularly the original Trilogy, Leo was fairly modest and sensitive, rarelu issuing direct commands and seemingly much more relaxed around his brothers thinking of himself as more of an equal than a leader.
On the other hand, Leonardo was much more prominent and his leader position was being the focus of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
On the third part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, after travelling back to feudal Japan, Leonardo leads his brothers to help a village in trouble from the villainous weapons trader, Walker and to return home.
In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, CGI Movie in 2007, Leonardo was given the opportunity by master Splinter to hone his skills to become a more efficient leader. His relationship with his brother Raphael has been strained.
The strained relationship is because of Raphael, feeling abandoned by Leo. Likewise, Raph felt that he was less appreciated by Splinter.
In the Series re-launch, TMNT, Leonardo is dedicated to perfecting his ninjutsu skills and will stop at nothing to defend his brothers and the entire city. There are ties where his cautious nature makes him in conflict with his brothers.
The Mirage/Image Comics depicted the four turtles wearing red bandanas, but in other versions, Leonardo wears a blue bandana.
Do you want to look like Leonardo? Check out this review by TTPM on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s Leonardo Costume. Basically the costume includes:
- Jumpsuit with muscle chest padding
- Turtle shell backpack, and
- Soft molded mask.
Leonardo Ninja Turtle Pictures
Leonardo wearing his blue mask and carrying his two katanas.
Leonardo in the IDW Comics.
Leonardo in the TMNT movie.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toys Leonardo
Playmates Toys produced hundreds of TMNT action figures during the run of the TV Series. It also released play sets and accessories which became one of the top collectibles for children.
Recently, action figures of The Teenage Mutant ninja Turtles are presented by the Nickelodean. Here’s a review of Playmates Nickelodean Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo.
Likewise, Nickelodean is partnering with Good Smile Company in releasing TMNT Leo statue.
James Jean, an acclaimed artist, has an original rendition of the four turtles. This is the basis of the statue. The Leonardo statue presents him as poised for battle. He holds katanas in hand. Leo is standing on top of a base designed as a crumbling ledge.
The color is muted and has a size of 10 ½-inches tall including the ledge base.
Aside from Leonardo, the other ninja turtles are: Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello.
Michelangelo, or also known as Mike or Mikey is an easy-going and free-spirited jokester. He is the most stereotypical of the team and is wearing the orange mask and wields a pair of nun chucks.
He is described as the least mature of the four Turtles and provides the comic relief. Mikey has an adventurous side coupled with a love of pizza. He is the surfer type and is often depicted with a Southern Californian accent.
Mike is named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer, Michelangelo. Originally, his name was misspelled “Michaelangelo” by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the creators of the TMNT.
Raphael or Raph, the one who wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sai; he is the team’s bad boy. Physically, he is very strong and has an aggressive nature and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch.
He is often depicted with a New York accent. His character is fierce and sarcastic and most of the time, delivers deadpan humor. Raph is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei.
He got his name from the Italian painter and architect of High Renaissance, Raphael.
The purple mask wearer is Donatello or also known as Don or Donnie. Among the four ninja turtles, he is the scientist, engineer and technological genius. He wields a bo staff.
Perhaps, Donatello is the least violent ninja turtle. He used his knowledge to solve conflicts. May be considered as the least violent yet he never hesitates to defend his brothers.
His name was after Donatello, the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence.
You’ve already met The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you’ve better known which ninja is Leonardo. And he says:
“My name’s Leo and I’ve got 3 rowdy brothers who always give me a hard time, but I keep them in line… usually. Master Splinter picked me to lead because I eat, sleep and breathe Ninjutsu. Not that my brothers aren’t good, I’m just better. But nothing can get in my way in protecting my family.”