The Simpsons Aspect Ratio Problem Fixed

When Disney+ launched last fall, one of the more appealing pieces of the streaming service’s library of content was access to every single episode of The Simpsons (with one major exception). However, that ended up being a disappointment because a bunch of The Simpsons episodes that were originally broadcast in the 4:3 full screen aspect ratio (before high-definition, widescreen televisions came along), had been zoomed and cropped to fill a 16:19 widescreen format.

The Simpsons aspect ratio problem resulted poor image quality and even the loss of some visual gags, and after outcry from fans, Disney+ vowed to fix the issue by the end of this month. Thankfully, that moment is nearly upon, and Disney+ has confirmed that the first 19 seasons and part of the 20th season of The Simpsons will be restored to their proper aspect ratio starting on May 28.

Here’s the official announcement from Disney+ and The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean:

The reason this fix only applies to the first 19 seasons and some of the 20th season is because halfway through that season, The Simpsons started broadcasting in a widescreen high-definition format. So every episode after that was made for the 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s a shame it took this long to make this adjustment, especially when FX Now already had the entire library of The Simpsons presented in the correct aspect ratio. But at least it’s getting done.

When Disney+ announced they’d be fixing The Simpsons aspect ratio problem, they also teased “new features and additional viewing options,” so maybe we’ll get some of the episode commentaries that were previously available when The Simpsons was available to watch over on FX Now.

One new addition to the Simpsons library on Disney+ will be a theatrical short film that was released back in 2012:

The Longest Daycare was attached to screenings of Ice Age: Continental Drift in the summer of 2012, and it went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Funnily enough, it ended up losing to Disney’s short film Paperman. You can start watching it on May 29.

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