Hans Christian Andersen is a character who appeared The Little Mermaid episode "Metal Fish". As his name suggests, this character is based on the real-life author of the same name who wrote the original story of The Little Mermaid.
Role in the series
Based on rumors he hears from other sailors about the existence of merfolk, Hans attempts to verify these claims by exploring the undersea world with the invention of his primitive submarine. While exploring the undersea world, his sub springs a leak and his steering controls are affected causing his sub to lose control and eventually sink to the bottom. However, to his surprise, he encounters Ariel, to which his claims are verified.
Later on, Archimedes, Sebastian, Flounder, the Crabscouts, and even King Triton appear to assist Andersen's damaged vessel back to the surface. At the end of this episode, the character is inspired by the encounter to "write" the story of The Little Mermaid. This encounter contradicts the idea that Ariel's first face-to-face contact with humans is with Prince Eric and forces Ariel to confront her father with the fact that she, Triton, and all merfolk are half-human when she appeals to Triton for help in saving Andersen's life. Andersen then tells the story of The Little Mermaid to some children at the end of the episode; as the episode ends, a narrator gives the viewers a message that Hans Christian Andersen wrote the original story of The Little Mermaid and other popular fairy tales, telling the viewers to find Andersen's books at their local libraries.