When Disney+ launched last year, The Simpsons was one of the main draws for subscribers. It didn’t take long, however, for viewers to realize Disney had changed the 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9. After some haranguing, Disney+ announced it would change the aspect ratio back in early 2020. That day is finally nigh, with the streaming service enlisting the help of veteran showrunner Al Jean:
Getting the whole picture — With good intentions, Disney meant to remaster the pre-HD Simpsons episodes for a better viewing experience. Instead, the modified episodes cropped the animation, often at the expense of jokes. Considering the gaffe covered nearly 20 seasons of the beloved show, that’s a lot of missed comedy, and lots of fodder for enraging fans, especially those who signed up to Disney+ to relive their favorite episodes.
Of course, if you don’t like boxy aspect ratios and won’t mind missing a few bits of visual humor, you’ll be able to toggle these episodes to their HD format like a philistine.
A similar situation arose when The Simpsons hit FXX (now owned by Disney), hence Jean tying the aspect ratio news to a similar announcement tweet back in 2015. Naturally, exhibiting further proof that corporations aren’t funny, the Disney+ Twiter account likens the tweet to a classic, eerie Simpsons prediction instead of the six-month road that led here.