Disney+ to Stream Classic ‘Simpsons’ Episodes in Original Aspect Ratio

“As always you have been heard,” showrunner Al Jean says

Fans of “The Simpsons” can rejoice in knowing that classic episodes of the show can now be seen in their original aspect ratio on Disney+ beginning May 28.

“The even more important most important tweet I can make! As always you have been heard! @theSimpsonsepisodes will be available in their original 4:3  aspect ratio on #DisneyPlus beginning 5/28,” Al Jean, the current “Simpsons” showrunner, announced on Wednesday as part of the Disney #StreamingDay.

The entire “Simpsons” catalog has been available on Disney since its launch but only in an updated widescreen format. Fans of the show demanded that Disney add options to also view the show as it was originally broadcast.

Episodes of the show from the ’90s that were originally broadcast in a boxed, 4:3 aspect ratio often looked cropped after being enlarged for today’s TVs. Characters’ heads or bodies might be awkwardly cut out of the frame, or jokes that “The Simpsons” writers would pack into the margins would often be lost.

For instance, Twitter users pointed out that in an episode where Homer goes to visit the Duff Brewery, the full, 4:3 image showed that three different styles of Duff Beer actually all came from the same exact pipe. But in the widescreen version optimized for modern TV screens, the added visual joke could not be seen.

Back when “The Simpsons” episodes were available for streaming on FXX, Jean made a similar announcement that both versions of the show would be available, and he called back to that tweet in his new announcement on Wednesday.

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