After generating a torrent of blowback over its rollout of the “Simpsons” library on the new Disney+ streaming service, with much of the criticism focused on the cropping of the program, Disney revealed how it plans to correct the problem.
Variety reports that the company said it will offer classic episodes of the animated show in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio by early 2020.
“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,” Variety reports.
The publication quotes a statement from Disney saying the show was launched on the streaming service in 16:9 aspect ratio “in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons.”
Disney also said: “Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. 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.”
A widely cited example of the problem with the cropping, which you can see below, was posted to Twitter by Tristan Cooper of CH Media’s Dorkly and CollegeHumor. The image illustrates how a visual joke about Duff beer suffers from the 16:9 cropping.
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