Franklin Turtle is the protagonist. He is the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Turtle and the 7 year old big brother of Harriet Turtle. Franklin tends to be very kind and he has a large circle of friends, but also tends to keep things to himself at times. Franklin's friends and his parents generally help to bring out the best in him, and he's also now a big brother (a desire he had expressed multiple times in the past). He takes good care of his pet goldfish, Goldie, and also has a stuffed dog named Sam who, despite growing older, he still hangs onto and communicates with. Franklin enjoys math. Unlike his other friends, he is not named for the animal that he represents, although it is used in his surname. And he is the one of the few in Woodland to have parents who are not siblings but of different families (along with Bear, Beaver, Goose and Rabbit) while most have sibling parents.
Franklin is a turtle with a hard outside but a sensitive and soft heart inside. He is a big brother with a big group of friends. Franklin's parents guide him along the way to help him make the right decisions and be the best he can be. He has a pet goldfish, Goldie, and a stuffed dog named Sam who he continues to have even as he gets older. Franklin likes math, but does not like thunder and lightning which are among some of his fears. Franklin and friends encounter many challenges, adventures and new situations along the way that young preschoolers can relate to. Bear is one of his best friends. He is both afraid of and fascinated by thunder and lightning, although sharing this fear with his friends helped him marginally. He is capable of fully removing his shell as apparently all turtles in the show are; his shell is a combination of clothing and backpack. He sometimes wears a hat and also wears a small red scarf around his neck. Franklin is shown to be a kind and caring person, But sometimes can be a little forgetful and somewhat accident prone and sulky. But shows his deep caring for usually his friends. Franklin for example, the place he lives, is shown to be in the countryside forest areas in North America, like the eastern United States or Canada. Noah Reid provided the voice of Franklin for the first five seasons of the television program. In the sixth season and Back to School with Franklin movie, Cole Caplan (who previously had a small role as the one-shot guest voice of Squirrel) voiced him. Cameron Ansell replaced Caplan as the voice in the U.S.-language version of the Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure film. He will soon be voiced by Preston Bailey in 2013.
Franklin is mostly green. He has a large shell colored yellow and brown. His eyes are brown with black pupils.
Franklin appears in every episode of the Franklin television series as well as every book.
- In the upcoming stage musical, the role will be played by Jay Armstrong Johnson.