As subscribers to the streaming service in the US, Canada and Australia found out after its launch last November, while the first 30 seasons of the animated classic are included on the platform, the first 20 have been stretched out into the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning a whole universe of visual gags on the outskirts of the shot are being cropped out.
This is because The Simpsons only adopted the widescreen format during season 20, but surely Disney should've learned from the mistakes of FXX, which still airs episode marathons in a similarly frustrating way.
Following the earlier disappointment voiced by Disney+ users last year, Disney released a statement saying it would make the episodes available in the original 4:3 aspect ratio in "early 2020".
"Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options," the company said back in November (via Variety).
"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."
In the statement, Disney also confirmed that the episodes were launched with the 16:9 ratio "in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons".
Now that the service has launched in the UK, The Simpsons' loyal fans are finding that there's still no 4:3 ratio option, and have taken to social media to also voice their displeasure.
@DisneyPlusUK @TheSimpsons @disneyplus Enjoying what I'm seeing so far but disappointed that the aspect ratio on the Simpsons hasn't been fixed yet. That 16:9 is brutal on the older episodes.#DisneyPlusUK #DisneyPlus— Jukebox Jim (@Jukebox_Jim) March 24, 2020
Hello, Disney? Why after 4 months since US launch is the aspect ratio for pre 2009 Simpsons episodes still not fixed?#DisneyPlusUK— SCHADENFACK (@SCHADENFACK) March 24, 2020
"Enjoying what I'm seeing so far but disappointed that the aspect ratio on the Simpsons hasn't been fixed yet. That 16:9 is brutal on the older episodes," one user wrote.
"Love #DisneyPlusUK so far but when will classic #TheSimpsons get shown in their proper 4:3 aspect ratio as promised?" another asked.
Reactions from US viewers last year are below:
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
*clears throat* “ah yes, in episode 9F14 there is one tube pouring into three distinctly different vats of Duff beer, yet now I cannot see said singular tube, thus rendering the visual joke meaningless. Please explain it.”#SimpsonsAspectRatio pic.twitter.com/eVyw9IiNzN— Timohthy Jay (@TimothyJ44) November 13, 2019
When they cropped The Simpsons into widescreen, they kept shots of the TV in 4:3. They really should've just kept the entire thing in it's original aspect ratio. pic.twitter.com/N2w7IxL3l9— Tanooki Joe™️ (@TanookiKuribo) June 4, 2019
Disney+ is now available in the US and the UK.
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