Just after Disney+ launched in November 2019, Simpsons fans noticed that the episodes weren’t looking quite right. The aspect ratio had been adjusted to fit the screen, which caused some episodes to lose visual jokes.
This was pointed out by subscribers on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter, as in the tweet below, and even by former Simpsons writer Bill Oakley. “I’ve seen dozens of these online,” Oakley told Digital Trends. “On ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns,’ one of the most important clues as to who shot him was completely cut off by this reformatting.”
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
When those complaints started coming in, Disney responded with good news for Simpsons fans. The company announced that it would be releasing the original 4:3 version of the series on Disney+ in early 2020.
And now, the time is near. Disney shared an update on the Disney+ Twitter account today, saying “We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions on #DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May.”
We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions on #DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May.
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) April 2, 2020
“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.” Disney said in a statement in 2019.
Six months later, we could finally see The Simpsons episodes as they originally aired.
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