Fans of The Simpsons who also happen to be Disney+ subscribers have reason to celebrate. Or perhaps a reason to subscribe to the streaming service in the first place. Disney has revealed that they are fixing the aspect ratio for the first 19 seasons (and change) of the long-running animated sitcom, which has been an issue ever since the service launched in November of last year.
For nearly 20 years, The Simpsons was presented in a standard 4:3 aspect ratio, which was far more common before HD TVs became more accessible, which then altered the aspect ratio for most shows. Taking to Twitter, Disney+ explained that they have been working, as promised, to get this issue corrected and that they expect to have it worked out by the end of May. The tweet reads as follows.
"We appreciate our fans' patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions on #DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May."
So, with any luck, this means viewers will have the option to view classic episodes in the correct 4:3 aspect ratio, as opposed to the 16:9 aspect ratio. As is, the older episodes aren't fitted to the screen properly, which means portions of the screen aren't visible. This is particularly problematic for The Simpsons, as many sight gags are lost in translation as a result. Viewers who subscribed to Disney Plus at launch were quick to point this out on social media, with Disney then promising to get the issue taken care of.
Disney completed its $71.3 billion merger with Fox last year and a big part of that deal was looking toward the future, which will be dominated by streaming. It was a way for Disney to get a great deal of content for not only Disney+, but Hulu as well. Having every episode of The Simpsons, which has previously been available through FXNow, was a huge get. Up to this point, however, it has been an imperfect viewing situation. The streaming also plays host to The Simpsons Movie, which was originally released in 2007.
The show has already been renewed for season 32, which is expected to debut in the fall. Through 31 seasons, the series has aired nearly 700 episodes, making it one of the longest running shows in the history of television. There were rumors suggesting that The Simpsons was coming to an end soon, thanks to comments made by theme song composer Danny Elfman. However, longtime producer Al Jean was quick to squash that rumor. So the citizens of Springfield will be with us for at least a little while longer. And in the correct aspect ratio, soon enough. This news comes to us from the official Disney+ Twitter account.