Every episode ofThe Simpsonsis currently streaming in a 16: 9 ratio, meaning it looks stretched and shots are cropped to fit a widescreen format. There isn’t an option to change the aspect ratio, either. This ultimately means there’s a plethora of gags from the first 20Simpsonsseasons that don’t land because the cropping prevents the joke from being fulfilled. ********
The Simpsonsoriginally aired on Fox in 1989, and it was broadcast in a 4: 3 aspect ratio. The show relies heavily on visual gags – an aspect of joke-telling that wouldn’t become an issue until near the end of 2009, about a third of the way throughThe Simpsons’20 th season – when the show’s aspect ratio switched from 4: 3 to 16: 9. This has long been an issue thatSimpsonsfans have contended with, some evenmaking memesabout the situation. ********
Things seemed likely to improve in 2015, though, when Fox’s FXX networkannounced that early (Simpsonsepisodes would be available to stream in a 4: 3ratio on the Simpsons World app. ********
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 (@ TristanACooperNovember 12, 2019
Fans and critics hailed FXX for giving subscribers more technological freedom. Many assumed the same setup would apply to Disney following the company’s announcement that all 30 seasons would live exclusively on Disney’s streaming service. That’s not the case. Twitter is full of complaints about Disney not offering an option to stream the episodes in 4: 3, with somecalling it a step down from FXX and Simpsons World. EvenSimpsonswriter Bill Oakley tweeted his disappointmentwith the setup.
Disney hasn’t suggested via social media if changes are coming to the platform to address subscribers’ concerns. Disney declined to comment on whether or not 4: 3 aspect ratio viewing will be made available at a later date. ********
(Update) November 12 th, 2: 50 PM ET):Updated to include Disney’s decline to comment.