While Disney+ overcame most of its launch issues fairly quickly last week, fans of The Simpsons continued to direct their frustration with the streaming service’s treatment of the animated classic through the weekend. In response to overwhelming backlash, Disney has confirmed it will ditch its 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio for the show’s first 19 seasons and revert to its natural 4:3 ratio.
The transition will be deployed for early 2020, according to Disney. The decision to upscale the aspect ratio to 16:9 has resulted in many iconic images appearing stretched, and in some cases the show’s subtle jokes have been affected. For instance, the 16:9 aspect ratio inadvertently killed the classic joke that Duff, Duff Lite, and Duff Dry beer all come from the same vat.
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
Here is Disney’s statement:
“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.”
So there you have it, online outrage can result in good. The show can be viewed as it was intended once again in 2020.