Titular Protagonists | Atlantica Royalty and Associates | Other Residents of Atlantica | Residents of Prince Eric's Castle | Allies | Antagonists
Prince Eric is the deuteragonist of the The Little Mermaid and Love Interest for Ariel.
- Action Dad: In the sequel, when he becomes a father to his and Ariel's only child, Melody. Eric will still take on anything that threatens him or his family.
- Action Hero: Becomes this in the climax of the first film.
- Adaptational Badass: Compared to the prince of the original story, Eric is far more involved in the plot. He has to be rescued early, yes, but once he realizes Ariel is the girl who saved him he jumps right into the thick of it and uses his wits and sailing expertise to kill Ursula while she is distracted with Ariel.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The Prince (later King) of his kingdom and defeated Ursula.
- All There in the Manual: The novelization says he's eighteen — two years older than Ariel.
- Babies Ever After: He and Ariel have a daughter, Melody, in Return to the Sea.
- Badass in Charge: He took down giant Ursula, saving both his kingdom and Triton's from certain destruction and freeing Triton, Ariel, and hundreds of merpeople from eternal damnation. He's also the prince of his kingdom and later becomes the King in the sequel.
- Badass in Distress: The movie plays loyal to him being saved from drowning by the title mermaid like in the original story. Unlike the novel however, he meets the tide with a fight, and also returns the favour to Ariel later.
- Badass Normal: This guy does not give up. EVER. Sky-high Physical Goddess sea witches be damned, you do not mess with his girl.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Eric is one of the nicest characters in The Little Mermaid franchise. He has also threatened or outright killed those who harmed his loved ones.
- Birds of a Feather: He wanted to escape his landlocked life to go out to sea. Ariel wanted to escape her underwater life to live above ground.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Big, dark eyebrows.
- Brainwashed: "Vanessa" does this to him in the first film.
- Car Fu: A ship example. He defeats Ursula by expertly sailing a ship through her trident-controlled storm. He then uses the pointed end of the broken mast to impale her.
- Chekhov's Skill: His piloting his ship through a hurricane in the first film.
- Chick Magnet: Immediately wins the affections of Ariel and at least lots of compliments from Ursula. His status as this trope is further confirmed at the beginning when Grimsby makes a sarcastic complaint to Eric about denying another proposal from a neighboring princess.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: In the facial structure, he resembles Kirk Douglas.
- Deadpan Snarker: Shows some reserved and lighthearted talent for snarking in the second movie, regarding the length of time it takes for his wife and daughter to prepare themselves for special occasions.Eric: So, were having a bad hair day?Ariel: If we were you wouldnt be helping, would you?Eric: Well, I'm just here to let you know that there are a lot of people downstairs...Ariel: Oh, we'll be right down. Just give us two minutes.Eric: Right, two... Now, where have I heard that before?
- Demoted to Extra: He has a recurring role in the TV series, is a supporting character in the second film, and makes no appearance in the prequel. Justified for the first and third since he has not yet met Ariel at that point.
- Determinator: To the same extent as Ariel, as nothing will stop him from saving a loved one (i.e., Max, Ariel, Melody, etc).
- Deuteragonist: In the first film, with Ariel being obviously The Protagonist.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Twice with Ariel.
- In the movie, he does meet Ariel after she saves him, but only remembers her voice.
- In the TV series episode "Scuttle", Eric catches a brief glimpse of Ariel, but is convinced by Grimsby that it was just his imagination.
- Friend to All Living Things: He helps free a dolphin from a net in the TV series. Unbeknownst to him, his future wife, Ariel watches him save the dolphin. While she doesn't see his full face, Eric's selfless action is the catalyst that helps Ariel believe that not all humans are evil. Then, there's his brotherly and close relationship with Max his sheep dog.
- Good Is Not Soft: Eric is genuinely a Nice Guy to everyone, but that doesn't stop him from killing Ursula.
- Good Parents: He may have made a mistake or two with Melody, but the way Melody grew up into a respectful and good-hearted young lady proves he and Ariel raised their daughter right.
- Happily Married: To Ariel in the sequel; they prove to have an incredibly stable marriage whether there is or isn't danger.
- Hello, Sailor!: An accomplished mariner, and not bad looking.
- Heroes Love Dogs: His best friend is his dog, Max.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Falls in love with and marries redhead Ariel.
- Hidden Depths: This skilled mariner turns out to be an expert on the flute.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Ariel. When she's in her human form, it becomes quite notable how petite she is in comparison to Eric's tall and broad physique. Some examples that show Ariel's shortness are when she is at dinner◊ during her first night at Eric's castle, when they dance◊, and when his hypnotism has been worn off on the third day◊. The fact that Ariel is wearing heels in all of these pictures really shows how petite' she is. At the end of the movie when they finally kiss, Ariel has to stand on her tiptoes while barefoot in order to reach his lips◊
- Humble Hero: He's a prince, but he's quite modest and not at all vain or condescending. When Grim unveils the large, ostentatious statue of him as a birthday gift, Eric is noticeably taken aback by its pageantry.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Blue eyes, kind and heroic personality.
- Interspecies Romance: Eric, a human, falls in love with and marries Ariel, a mermaid, though technically she's half-human.
- I Will Find You: His intention to find Ariel after she's taken by Ursula.
- Leitmotif: Has a short love motif heard at the beginnings of "Bedtime" and "Eric to the Rescue".
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Like Triton, he is normally portrayed as a benevolent but easily distracted monarch and as loyal to his subjects as they are to him. And they are fiercely protective of their families. Their similarities are specially apparent in the television series.
- Love at First Note: While he does see Ariel for a couple of seconds, due to complications involved with him being half-unconscious, he doesn't remember what she looks like, which leads to him falling in love with her voice.
- Marry for Love: In the first film, he tells Grimsby that the girl for him exists out there, but until then he won't marry someone because it's customary for him to do so.
- Meaningful Name: "Eric" is Old Norse for "eternal ruler", alluding to his status as the prince, later king, of his kingdom.
- Modest Royalty: Except for formal occasions, he prefers very simple clothing.
- Named by the Adaptation: He's only ever referred to as "the prince" in the original Hans Christian Andersen story.
- Nice Guy: Heroic, brave, fun loving, kind, selfless, polite, and down to earth.
- Non-Idle Rich: Despite being a prince, Eric enjoys sailing the seas and doesn't hesitate to get into action if he needs to.
- Not Allowed to Grow Old: He still looks the same after Melody is born and even after she turns 12.
- One Head Taller: Than Ariel.
- Papa Wolf: Towards Melody. He angrily asks Morgana (who now has the powerful trident in her hands) what she has done to Melody while brandishing his sword.
- Primary-Color Champion: His Iconic Outfit consists of a white, long-sleeved collared shirt, red sash, and dark-blue pants.
- Ramming Always Works: During the final showdown, he commandeers one of the old shipwrecks that Ursula's whirlpool lifts from the ocean's bottom and uses the prow as a giant harpoon to skewer her.
- Rescue Romance: His relationship with Ariel grows after they save each other.
- Ariel saves Eric from drowning.
- He, in turn, saves her (and the rest of the ocean) from Ursula at the end of the movie.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Eric is a competent sailor.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The down-to-earth Savvy Guy to Ariel's spunky, rambunctious Energetic Girl.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Grimsby mentions that Eric wasn't remotely romantically interested in any of the women who wanted to be his bride. Ariel is the only woman he has shown an interest in.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Zigzagged. While Eric is an important character in the franchise, he gets Demoted to Extra in the sequel, prequel, and the TV series — however, the last one reveals that he was the one to show Ariel that not all humans are cruel beings when he rescued a trapped dolphin.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's a head taller than Ariel, has raven hair, and is a Chick Magnet (Ariel certainly thinks so, as she fell for him at first sight).
- Tuckerization: He was named after Eric Larson, one of Disney's Nine Old Men who died the year before the film was released.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Gender Inverted. He impales Ursula to save Ariel.
- Would Hit a Girl: He kills Ursula and threatens Morgana; both moments in the defense of his (future) wife and daughter, respectively.
Grimsby is Eric's manservant and confidant.
- Affectionate Nickname: Eric nicknames him "Grim".
- British Stuffiness: Grimsby is a reserved man with a thick British accent.
- The Confidant: To Eric. He offers the young Prince advice when it appears needed.
- Cool Old Guy: Grimsby gave Eric good advice on not chasing after a fantasy girl and focus on the real one.
- Deadpan Snarker: Some of his dialogue has a level of wit.
- Demoted to Extra: He only has three scenes in the sequel.
- Nice Guy: He may be no-nonsense and witty, but not to an extent he would be considered mean. In actuality, he's gentle, friendly, and helpful.
- Parental Substitute: Implied in his interactions with Eric in the first film that show Grimsby acting as a sort of father figure.
- Servile Snarker: He's technically a servant to Prince Eric, but isn't above sending some snark his way.
- Shipper on Deck: As time goes on, Grimsby notices that Eric is falling for Ariel. He councils him to forget his dream girl (he wished to marry the one who saved him, not realizing it was Ariel), and to accept the real one he has.
Carlotta is the sweet and kind maid of Prince Eric; she's also one of his most loyal friends.
- Berserk Button: Downplayed. She doesn't go berserk, but she shows great annoyance at Chef Louis' making a mess.
- Beware the Nice Ones: A kindly woman who can strike terror in Chef Louis' heart when she's angry enough.
- Big Beautiful Woman: A hefty woman with a big heart.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Throws a bucket of water on Louis' head when he indirectly ruins Melody's birthday party.
- Maid: Her main job at Eric's castle is a maid.
- Nice Girl: Carlotta is kind, gentle, sweet, helpful, loyal, hardworking, lighthearted.
- Parental Substitute: Implied in some of her actions with Eric. Like Grimsby, she seems to take on a sort of surrogate mother role for Eric, worrying about his emotional well-being as well as his physical state. After Eric laughs at Ariel blowing soot in Grimsby's face, Carlotta notes that that's the first time she's seen Eric smile in weeks.
- Shipper on Deck: Implied to be one for Ariel and Eric, as she pleasingly notes on how Ariel made Eric smile for the first time in weeks and how she cried Tears of Joy at their wedding.
- Ship Tease: Some with Chef Louis in the sequel. In the first movie there is the slight implication that they are married.
- Tears of Joy: Gets emotional at Eric and Ariel' s wedding.
- Tsundere: Type 2. The "tsun" part is mostly seen when Louis acts up.
Chef Louis is a chef who is infamous for trying to cook Sebastian. He apparently loves his job, possibly to an almost unhealthy extent.
- Accent Adaptation: He has an Italian accent in the first European French dub and a Spanish accent in the second European French dub.
- Angry Chef: The palace chef to Prince Eric, and seems no worse than eccentric as he sings "Les Poissons" while preparing stuffed crab as an entree. However, once Sebastian fights for his life, all of Louis's sanity goes out the window, and he embarks on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that obliterates the palace kitchen.
- Anti-Villain: While Louis may not harbor any malice, we the viewers are aware he was preparing possibly sentient sea life. This is especially apparent whenever he and Sebastian face off. Though in his case as mentioned below, it may be more just a matter of pride than to actually serve the little crab up on a platter.
- Ax-Crazy: Although he's fine elsewhere, in the kitchen, Louis isn't exactly the most... balanced of individuals. He's just a little too disturbingly jovial when preparing his meals and his response to Sebastian trying to escape is to chop a table in half and destroy the entire kitchen.
- Butt-Monkey: He takes quite a bit of abuse, being an Ineffectual Sympathetic Anti-Villain at the wrong side of the board.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Just read some of these lyrics out-of-context and, ignoring for a moment that it's about fish, ask yourself if they don't sound a little... Hannibal Lecter-esque?Louis: With a cleaver I HACK them in two
I PULL OUT what's inside
And I serve it up fried...
- French Jerk: He has shades of this - including the obnoxious, nasal "french laugh": Hee hee hee, haw haw haw! He also sings about cutting up and serving fish for dinner, which seems almost sadistic from the point of view of Sebastian.
- Gay Paree: To hammer it home that he's French (or more exactly, to display enough Parisian clichés to show that he's French), he's introduced with accordion music on the soundtrack, talks about his cuisine as "Nouvelle Cuisine des Champs-Élysées" (the Champs-Élysées is the most famous avenue of Paris) and name-drops Maurice Chevalier for the sake of it.
- Gratuitous French: Random French words are sprinkled among his sentences like garnish.Louis: Zut alors, I have missed one!
Sacrebleu, what is this?
- Nothing screams more gratuitous than name-dropping early 20th century French singer Maurice Chevalier while the movie is clearly set in the early 19th century at best.
- Hot-Blooded: Sebastian pinching his nose quickly gets him so angry he throws knives at the little crab, go after him with a cleaver, and then destroy the whole kitchen to catch him.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: After he chases Sebastian all over the kitchen in the first film.
- Large Ham: This guy sure loves his job, a little too much.
- Nice Hat: His chef hat.
- Obliviously Evil: While one could argue he's a little too... passionate when having to cut fishes, he doesn't know that fishes are sentient.
- Psycho for Hire: Downplayed. He is a professional chef, so it is his job to chop up, season, and cook little sea critters for dinner. That said, he seems to enjoy the "cut up" part of his job way more than he should...Louis: First you POUND the fish flat with a mallet
Then you SLASH OFF their skin
Give their belly a SLICE
Then you rub some salt in
'Cause it makes it taste nice...
- Ship Tease: With Carlotta, especially in the sequel. In the first movie, there is the slight implication they are married.
- Skewed Priorities: If he sees Sebastian, he will stop at nothing to hunt him down. Even if he's in the middle of an elaborate birthday party with a large table of dishes in his way and numerous people watching.
- Super-Persistent Predator: To Sebastian, though, to Louis, it may be more a matter of pride than simply to serve the little crab as an entrée.
- Supreme Chef: Despite his...temper problem, he is a rather skilled chef. He appears in the sequel, making an enormous and very fancy cake for Melody's birthday.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: His pseudo-Villain Song, "Les Poissons", is played for laughs since he gleefully sings about how much he loves cutting off and chopping up and pulling out little fish parts, not people.
Max is Prince Eric's loyal Old English Sheepdog.
- Animal Companion: Max the Sheepdog follows Eric almost anywhere.
- Big, Friendly Dog: He's Prince Eric's dog, and is fond of jumping around and licking Eric and Ariel's faces on various occasions.
- Blinding Bangs: Has very long fur covering the face and eyes.
- Butt Biter: Max bites Ursula/Vanessa in the butt to save Scuttle in the first film's climax.
- Demoted to Extra: He has minor roles in the sequel and TV series. He makes no appearance in the prequel.
- The Dog Bites Back: "Vanessa" kicks him in the face for growling at her. Less than a minute later when Scuttle's menagerie crashes the wedding, he bites her in the butt, allowing the seagull to pull the shell necklace off her and unraveling her disguise.
- Empathy Pet: Upon Prince Eric's cluelessness over whether or not the now mute Ariel is the one he's been looking for, his dog Max rolls his eyes and blows hair out of his own face in annoyance, which Ariel mimics.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: During the wedding, he snarls angrily at "Vanessa" as she walks down the aisle with Eric. He also assists Scuttle in exposing her plan.
- Furry Confusion: He's the only animal in the movie who doesn't talk.
- The Nose Knows: Which is how Max is able to recognize Ariel when she's human.
- Shipper on Deck: Max is more happier with Eric and Ariel married.
- They Have the Scent!: From the first film, when he finds Ariel after she became human.