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Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Leonardo (Character)
Full name Leonardo Hamato
Nickname Leo
Lame-nardo (teasing)
Portrayed by Jason Biggs
Dominic Catrambone
Seth Green
Michael Sinterniklaas
Tony Oliver
Michael Dobson
Cam Clarke
James Arnold Taylor
Powers Highly skilled in ninjutsu
Olympic-level agility, speed, and strength
Keen strategist
Master of stealth
Mastery of kenjutsu and iaidō
Master swordsman
Chi Gong
Mastery of various forms of hand-to-hand combat
Enhanced slashing & slicing (via ninjato)
Exceptional leadership skills
Creators Kevin Eastman
Peter Laird
Publisher Mirage Studios
First appearance Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Last appearance Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Leonardo, often shortened to Leo, is one of the four protagonists of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and all related media. In the Mirage/Image Comics, all four turtles wear red bandanas, but in other versions, he wears a blue bandana. His signature weapons are two katanas. Throughout the various media, he is often depicted as the eldest and leader of the four turtles, despite the fact that he is not the strongest (Raphael), the smartest (Donatello), or the most talented (Michelangelo). However, Leonardo is the most spiritual, the most disciplined, and the most in-line with Splinter's teachings and thoughts. He is named after Leonardo da Vinci.

Films

Original trilogy (1990-1993)

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Leonardo was fairly modest and sensitive, rarely issuing direct commands and seemingly much more relaxed around his brothers thinking of himself as more of an equal than a leader. It was he who first communicated telepathically with a kidnapped Splinter and seems the most anxious about Raphael's health after his ambush by the Foot Clan. He fought alongside his brothers against The Shredder in the climatic battle and was the only one of the four to actually injure The Shredder, but, like his brothers, could not defeat him. Due to the focus on Raphael in the film's plot, Leonardo's personality was rarely explored and his leader position in the team took a back seat. Leonardo was portrayed by David Forman and voiced by Brian Tochi.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Leonardo was much more prominent and his leader position was brought to focus. He is seen on many occasions bickering with Raphael as their sibling rivalry begins to become much more serious. He, like his brothers, was astonished at the return of the Foot but he found that their current homelessness due to their last battle was a more pressing issue and soon he convinced his brothers that they needed to move. Leonardo is once again sensitive, caring, and humorous in this adaption but he now appears much more bossy and controlling.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, after traveling back in time to feudal Japan, Leonardo leads his brothers to help a village in trouble from the villainous weapons trader, Walker, and to return home.

2007 film

In TMNT, Leo was sent away by Master Splinter to hone his skills in becoming a more efficient leader after Shredder's defeat. April finds him in Central America and while he was hesitant to return to New York City, he does at the right time to take on a new force of evil.

His brotherly relationship with Raphael is strained due to Raphael feeling abandoned by Leo as well as feeling less appreciated by Splinter. Leonardo's vision of the world is perhaps wider than Raphael's. In the first movie prequel comic, Leo becomes angry with Raphael for trying to leave them in order to save a man from being mugged because there are four heavily armed Triceratons in the sewers who could cause devastation to the city. He becomes further angered when Raphael deserts them mid-battle to help an old man. This conflict suggests that the two brothers operate on different levels of morality, though neither is necessarily wrong. Raphael states in the comic that he was tired of waiting for disaster to fall on his family and tired of fighting aliens while people in their own neighborhood are being mugged and murdered. Leonardo, on the other hand, believes that the world of men is the responsibility of the police, while Utroms and Triceratons are their domain… that they should fight only when there is no one else to solve the problem. This also engages Leo in a contradiction when he stays in Central America, using violence to fight local lawlessness and effectively deserting his brothers because he believes as Raph believes, that others need him more. Such parallels suggest that the two brothers are experiencing the same dedication to justice but in a different mentality, albeit in very different locales and using different tactics. In fact, when Leo tracks down and scolds the Nightwatcher (not knowing that he is Raphael), he remarks that he is well aware of the Nightwatcher's good intentions but cannot simply approve of the latter's methods.

Raphael challenges Leonardo after arguing of their own individual sense of justice and the reasons for their actions. Leonardo discovers that Raphael is the Nightwatcher and the two engage in an emotional fight. Raph almost kills Leo out of anger and then retreats due to shame and his brother's deep and confused stare. Leo is captured by the Stone Generals and the Foot Clan but is rescued by his family later before the final battle where Leonardo and Raphael finally resolve their differences, Raph accepting Leo as their leader while Leonardo confesses to needing Raphael. Leonardo is voiced by James Arnold Taylor in this film.

Reboot series

Leonardo appears in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, portrayed by Pete Ploszek in Motion Capture and voice by Johnny Knoxville. In this movie, he is dedicated to perfecting his ninjutsu skills and will stop at nothing to defend his brothers and the entire city. There are times where his cautious nature makes him clash with his brothers. Leonardo firmly believes it's his ninja duty to protect all people. He tends to have a similar personality to his '87 counterpart where he is determined to help people and keep his brothers in line. He and Raphael unlike in their other adaptions don't fight over leadership although they have a brief argument over the Hamatshi and Raphael talking about leaving which Leo debunks Raphael's claim. In the movie he like Donatello and Raphael don't seek April's attention unlike Michelangelo who does. He will also appear in the sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell.

External links

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Films
Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IITeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IIITMNTTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Characters

LeonardoDonatelloMichelangeloRaphaelSplinterApril O'NeilShredderHamato YoshiCasey JonesFoot ClanKaraiBaxter StockmanBebop and RocksteadyTokka and Rahzar

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