Disney Plus to Release ‘The Simpsons’ in Original Ratio Next Month

Woohoo! Disney Plus has promised to release The Simpsons in its original 4:3 ratio sometime in May. But wait, isn’t The Simpsons already on Disney Plus, Disney’s streaming service? Yes, but not exactly in an ideal viewing format. Disney Plus decided to release the classic animated show in the widescreen format. In doing so, it cut out a lot of classic visual gags from the series. For example, one episode shows the Duff Beer factory and the multiple variations of the beverage. Except they all come from the same tube. In the widescreen format, the tube gets cropped out, meaning the joke doesn’t come off at all.

Simpsons' will arrive in its original 4:3 format by May | Engadget

Why did Disney Plus make this change? Probably because all episodes of The Simpsons switched to widescreen partway through the 20th season of the show, and the streaming service figured it was updating the older seasons to match the new ones. Widescreen 16:9 format is the HD standard, but when TV stations show the older episodes they typically add black bars to the standard format to accommodate the disparity. 

Disney Plus recently took to Twitter to let folks know that it’s working on a fix. The tweet reads, “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.”