Eric is a prince on the surface land of Atlantica. In all his life, he has been living in ignorance about the mysteries of the sea world.
Eric was saved by Ariel after his ship was wrecked in a storm. While he was unconscious, Ariel sang to him, and when he woke up, he recognized nothing about Ariel than her voice.
To be able to be with him, Ariel signed a contract with Ursula that allows her to become human for three days in exchange for her voice, and unless she makes the prince kiss her before sundown of the third day, she will belong to her forever.
Eric met Ariel at the beach where he was brought ashore, but did not recognize her because of her loss of voice. On the second night, he and Ariel were out on a little boat and almost kissed, until Flotsam and Jetsam interrupted them. The next morning, Ursula turned into a human girl called Vanessa and cast a spell on Eric to make him fall in love with her. However, Sora interferes with her plan and breaks Ursula's charm, thus giving Ariel her voice back and breaks Eric out of the spell. Eric, having recognized Ariel, confesses his love to her, but Ursula takes her back to the sea.
He then rescues Ariel and defeats Ursula with the help of Sora, Donald and Goofy. Upon her defeat, Ariel reveals to Eric about her true identity, but he admits that it does not change how he feels. The romantic scene makes King Triton finally change his mind and let his daughter be with a human prince.
In the ending credits, Eric and Ariel, having finally become human, are seen getting married in a ceremony gathered with humans and merpeople.
Prince Eric is a kind gentleman who helped educate Ariel in life above the sea. Although he was mesmerized by Ursula's spell, Eric still remembered how Ariel had helped him. It is for this memory that Eric loves Ariel. Prince Eric is also very brave, willing to take on the great sea witch, Ursula, by himself if it means saving Ariel. Finally, Eric is adamantly loyal to Ariel. This is seen after Sora completes Ursula's Revenge, when Eric is willing to learn how to swim in order to be with Ariel.
Prince Eric is a young man with handsome features, thick black hair, and blue eyes. His clothing is quite simple, contrasting his status as a prince. He wears a pure white polo shirt that is unbuttoned, exposing his chest. He also wears either blue breeches or normal pants with rolled up legs, secured by a red belt. Eric completes his outfit with black knee-high boots.
Though the character made his first appearance as the unnamed Prince in the 1837 fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, this incarnation of the prince, with the given name "Eric", made his debut appearance in the 1989 film, The Little Mermaid. He is the first character to be introduced in the film, sailing with his sheepdog, Max, and valet/father figure, Grimsby. Later on, he celebrates his birthday on a boat, where Ariel notices him from a distance and becomes smitten with him. A storm strikes and Eric is injured in an explosion, rendering him unable to swim to safety, though Ariel saves his life. Eric briefly sees Ariel's face as she sings to him to awaken him before she swims off, and he makes a vow to track her down and marry her. Though his initial efforts are in vain, he eventually finds her stranded on the beach as a mute human, courtesy of Ursula, and takes her in, although her lack of a voice leads him to believe she is not the girl who saved him. Over the next three days, Eric and Ariel bond and almost kiss, but Ursula sabotages their efforts by transforming into a young girl with Ariel's voice and placing a spell on Eric so that he will marry her instead. During the wedding, Scuttle discovers Ursula's identity and ignites an attack on the wedding, in the process breaking the spell on Eric and returning Ariel's voice to her. Eric's true reunion with Ariel, however, is short-lived when the sun sets and she turns back into mermaid. Despite learning the truth, Eric remains undeterred and joins the fight against Ursula so as not to lose Ariel again. He succeeds in wounding Ursula's arm with a harpoon, and refuses to flee the battle without Ariel. In the battle's climax, Eric commandeers one of the sunken ships brought to the surface by a gigantic Ursula and manages to ram the ship's splintered bowspirit through Ursula's stomach, weakening her enough for the Trident's power to backfire and destroy her once and for all. Having practically saved Atlantica, Eric wins the trust of King Triton, who turns Ariel into a human so that she can be with Eric. Once Ariel comes of age, she and Eric marry.
In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Eric is shown to have fathered a daughter, Melody, with Ariel.