Disney+ Vows to Fix ‘The Simpsons’ Widescreen Format After Fan Outcry Over Cropped Jokes

Streaming service has cut out many visual gags by switching early episodes to a widescreen presentation

Last Updated: November 18, 2019 @ 6:54 AM

After much fan outcry, Disney has announced that plans are being made to allow Disney+ users to watch classic episodes of “The Simpsons” in their original aspect ratio format.

When the new streaming service launched this past Tuesday, one of the big perks offered was the first 30 seasons of “The Simpsons.” But “Simpsons” fans complained that dozens of visual gags had been cropped out by switching older episodes from their original 4:3 ratio to a 16:9 widescreen ratio. “The Simpsons” didn’t actually make that jump until midway through their 20th season in 2009.

In a statement, Disney+ said that the decision was made to switch the episodes to widescreen “to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons.”

The statement reads in full:

“We presented ‘The Simpsons’ in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons (and some episodes from Season 20) of ‘The Simpsons’ available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series.”

The option to allow users to switch to 4:3 for pre-2009 episodes will roll out early next year.

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