The name Donatello debuted on the baby name charts in 1990:
- 1992: unlisted
- 1991: 11 boys named Donatello
- 1990: 12 boys named Donatello [debut]
- 1989: unlisted
If you were a TV-watching kid during those years, you already know what inspired this one: the brainy, purple-masked, bo staff-wielding turtle Donatello from the cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Turtle-mania peaked during the late ’80s and early ’90s, and if you look at the three other Ninja Turtle names — Leonardo, Michaelangelo*, and Raphael — you’ll see that usage for all of them rose during this period. (All four turtles were named after Renaissance artists.)
And now, the important question of all: Who’s your favorite Ninja Turtle?
*The character’s name is spelled correctly (Michelangelo) nowadays, but back then it was not.