Good news today for anyone who wants to binge The Simpsons on Disney+ but doesn’t want to spend that time zoomed directly into Homer’s forehead. Disney confirmed it is still working to make The Simpsons episodes available to stream in a 4:3 aspect ratio format, instead of the current 16:9, and that the process should be done by the end of May.
“We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of [The Simpsos] available in 4:3 versions on [Disney Plus],” the company wrote. “We expect to accomplish this by the end of May.”
The Simpsons aired in 4:3 from its debut in 1989 all the way until its mindboggling 20th season in 2009. When Disney+ first launched, the company noted the decision to stream in 16:9 “in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons.” If you watch the episodes in 4:3 on Disney+ you can just sort of tell something is off without even knowing exactly why. But the real bummer is the fact that The Simpsons has always been a show that packs each episode with dozens of visual gags, and the current crop often obscures them.
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
Why Disney made this decision in the first place is beyond me—and why it would take until the end of May to correct it is another mystery—but at least we know the originals are on the way. Check out Disney’s tweet below. For further viewing on Disney+, here are the best animated movies streaming right now (all in the correct aspect ratio!)
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