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.
All the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ are in cropped widescreen format — this means you miss out on tons of great visual jokes, like how Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all come from the same tube. pic.twitter.com/cTy9adulFl
— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) November 12, 2019
my favourite thing about old episodes of the simpsons is that lisa doesn't have a body, which was a bold choice in the 1990s for a cartoon character. pic.twitter.com/1QWJ6aeD9z
— Willow Catelyn Maclay (@willow_catelyn) November 12, 2019
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.