Prince Eric is the main character in Disney’s 1989 feature picture The Little Mermaid, as well as its television show and sequel. The character is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “prince” figure from “The Little Mermaid,” but was modified for Disney’s movie by screenwriter Roger Allers. Inside the original movie as well as the Kingdom Hearts video games, Christopher Daniel Barnes voices the protagonist; within precursor television show, Jeff Bennett voices the character; and that in the direct-to-video successor, Rob Paulsen voices the character. Sean Palmer played the part in the Broadway musical adaptation in 2007.
Notwithstanding his royal status, Eric is a skilled sailor who is frequently seen performing various jobs onboard ships in his own fleet, demonstrating his status as a merchant prince. Eric is also shown to be a capable helmsman, as he is shown steering ships both in the 1989 movie as well as its sequel, the former demonstrating his talent by skewering Ursula in a split second tight turn to port on a decrepit ship. He spends a lot of time at the water, on anything from fishing expeditions to conflicts at sea. Grimsby, his servant and particular confidant, is frequently around him.
The kingdom is anxiously anticipating Eric’s marriage, as indicated in a conversation between him and his man-servant Grimsby. At least one princess has been turned down as a potential wife, with Eric saying that he’s now seeking the ideal female. Everybody gets to get to the lifeboat as the storm comes, except Eric, who swims behind and save his dog, Max. He nearly drowns inside the process, however, Ariel saves him. She brings him to the shore and sings to him, but Max and Grimsby approach before he could even fully recover, causing Ariel to dive below.