Disney aims to fix ‘The Simpsons’ aspect ratio on Disney+ by end of May

Older episodes displayed in 16:9 suffer from removed visual gags and stretched out character models

Homers Enemy The Simpsons

Disney has announced that it expects to have all classic episodes of The Simpsons streaming in their original 4:3 aspect ratio by the end of May.

On Twitter, the official Disney+ account noted that this includes the entire first 19 seasons of the animated sitcom, as well as certain episodes from Season 20.

One of the main selling points of the Disney-owned streaming service when it launched in November was the fact that all 30 seasons of The Simpsons were available to stream on day one. However, fans quickly noticed that the aspect ratio of older episodes — originally set to 4:3 when broadcast on TV — was changed to 16:9.

In some cases, this resulted in the series’ signature visual gags being cut out of the frame.

Further, the altered aspect ratio sometimes led to characters like Bart appearing stretched out in an awkward way.

At the time, Disney said it made the decision to shift to 16:9 to “guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons,” given that the more recent seasons output in that aspect ratio. However, the company acknowledged the criticism and promised to roll out “new features and additional viewing options,” including the option to stream in 4:3.

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, it remains to be seen whether Disney will be able to hit its late May target window. In any case, being able to stream The Simpsons in its original 4:3 glory will no doubt be a great option for people stuck at home during the global health crisis.

Image credit: Disney

Source: Disney