The Simpsons: Here's How to Access Correct Aspect Ratio for Classic Episodes on Disney+

Disney+ streams The Simpsons episodes in the modern 16:9 format that widescreen digital TVs use - but that choice riled longtime fans of the show. The older seasons of The Simpsons first aired in the 4:3 ratio of classic box-shaped TVs of the '90s era, and the conversion to 16:9 crops out too much picture for fans' comfort. Disney heard the backlash from fans after Disney+ initially launched and pledged to do something about the formatting issue. So here's how you can now convert older Simpons episodes into 4:3 ratio while streaming them on Disney+:

As you can see in the screenshot above, Disney has gone ahead and made the process smooth and easy, installing a one-click button on older episodes of The Simpsons, giving viewers the option to view them in either the original 4:3 ratio or "remastered" 16:9 ratio:

"Episodes will appear in their remastered 16:9 widescreen format. When disabled, episodes will appear in their original 4:3 aspect ratio. (Note that later episodes are only available in 16:9 format.)"

The "remastered" phrasing is a nice touch, as it will probably dissuade more casual viewers from making a change, as "remastered" episodes sound much more high-grade. To be fair, there is always a fair amount of question about just how many people care about these kinds of aspect ratio conversions. As stated, longtime Simpsons die-hards are obviously passionate about it - but even then, it's usually the case that only a much smaller minority of those die-hards actually sit down and rewatch the entire show in the original format. For most people, it's an occasional indulgence at best, as our eyes have just become more trained to modern high-def images in the 16:9 format.


That said, this is yet another nice win for fan culture in recent weeks. Years of petitioning is finally bringing Justice League's Snyder Cut to HBO Max; Warner Bros finally announced that Henry Cavill is back as Superman, and the acclaimed animated series Tuca & Bertie was saved from cancellation. IN this horrible year of 2020, those are some nice bits of good news, for sure.

The Simpsons is now streaming on DIsney+.