Disney+ Will Correct The Simpsons' Aspect Ratio In Early 2020

The launch of Disney+ this week came with widespread issues but plenty of treats for fans in the US like the first episode of The Mandalorian and most of the movies in the Marvel Studios and Star Wars canon. Of the many missing shows, movies, and other pratfalls in the launch of the streaming service, there was one major annoyance to fans of The Simpsons, the series is being presented in the incorrect aspect ratio. Good news and common sense has prevailed though as the streaming service has confirmed they'll be changing the look of the series soon. In a statement released to The AV Club about the series' aspect ratio, a Disney+ spokesperson revealed they will be giving users the option to change the look for the series next year.

“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.”

As the outlet discussed in their breakdown of the issue, presenting the early seasons of The Simpsons in the incorrect aspect ratio puts the series and new viewers at a disadvantage. By cropping the series, visual gags (of which there are naturally many) aren't visible at all, plus there's the obvious stretching effect on display with the characters when the ratio is compressed. Given that the streaming home for all thirty seasons of The Simpsons was a major selling point for Disney+, it's surprising that this error was made especially when other shows like the original X-Men cartoon (which is having a different kind of problem on Disney+), Boy Meets World, and more are all available in their original aspect ratios.

The wrong aspect ratio isn't the only Simpsons related story of the Disney+ launch as fans were quick to notice one episode of the series was absent, the season three premiere. This episode, "Stark Raving Dad," has become a topic of conversation in the years since, due to the fact that it features a prominent cameo from controversial pop star Michael Jackson.


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