In purely biographical or psychological terms, Mickey Mouse was in many ways the fictional extension and alter ego of his creator, Walt Disney, who provided his squeaky voice on film for years. However, Mickey soon took on a life wholly his own. Walt's signature character eventually became not only a Disney corporate symbol but would serve as a generic emblem of cartoons as a whole. In France, for instance, the term petits micquets is sometimes used to designate any form of cartoons or comic-book art. Of course, there is much more to the phenomenon that is Mickey Mouse. When his first animated short, Steamboat Willie, premièred in December 1929, the Mouse, as John Updike put it, "entered history as the most persistent and pervasive figment of American popular culture in this century."