How Did This Get Made: A Conversation With Ron Underwood, Director of ‘Tremors,’ ‘City Slickers,’ and ‘The Adventures of Pluto Nash’
Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2020 by Blake Harris
A few months ago, when I resumed writing this column for How Did This Get Made?, I began by making a wish list of filmmakers who I’d been wanting to speak with for years. And one of the people at the top of that list was the subject of today’s piece: Ron Underwood.
Even if you don’t know the name “Ron Underwood,” you’ve probably seen some of his work. Maybe it was when you were a kid. Maybe in school you were shown one of his sweet-natured stop-motion educational films. Films like Courtesy: A Good Eggsample. Or maybe you saw his adorable adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
Or maybe your introduction to Underwood’s work came through one of his beloved films from the ’90s. Perhaps it was Tremors? Or City Slickers? Or Mighty Joe Young? Again, at some point in your life, you’ve probably seen a Ron Underwood film. Which makes it all the more ironic that what led me to Mr. Underwood was the one film of his that you’ve almost definitely never seen. A film so few people saw that even now, nearly 20 years after the fact, it’s still considered to be one of the “costliest box office flops of all-time”: The Adventures of Pluto Nash.