Eep! After an outcry from “The Simpsons” aficionados, Disney has decided to offer classic episodes of the iconic animated sitcom on Disney Plus in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio early next year.
The streaming service launched Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands with the full batch of “Simpsons” episodes in 16-by-9 HD format, which cropped out key details from older episodes — and angered many fans.
In a statement, Disney said it launched “The Simpsons” in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch “to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons.”
“Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options,” the company said. “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.”
The problem with cropping older “Simpsons” eps in 16:9 format was that it destroyed some of the show’s jokes. In one widely cited example, Tristan Cooper of CH Media’s Dorkly and CollegeHumor pointed out this scene showing how Disney Plus users wouldn’t get the gag about how three varieties of Duff beer all come from the same source:
Mouse House announced earlier this year that Disney Plus would be the exclusive subscription VOD home of “The Simpsons”. That came shortly after Disney closed a deal to buy large pieces of 21st Century Fox, including “Simpsons” producer 20th Century Fox Television.
“Simpsons,” from the producer and executive producer Matt Groening, was renewed by Fox Broadcasting Network (now part of the new Fox Corp) earlier this year for seasons 31 and 32. The show would have produced a total of 413 episodes at the end of season 32. “The Simpsons” is the longest-running primetime scripted TV show in history, surpassing “Gunsmoke” during season 29 of last year.
Get the best of The Thus delivered to your inbox – subscribe to The Thus Newsletters.For the latest Entertainment News follow The Thus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real-time.