One of the main selling points of Disney+ at launch was the service’s ability to stream the first 30 seasons of The Simpsons.
However, with Disney+ now available in Canada, the U.S., and the Netherlands, users have quickly discovered that streaming The Simpsons is less-than-ideal.
That’s because Disney+ displays episodes of The Simpsons in an aspect ratio that actually cuts away from some of the show’s signature visual gags.
When they were originally broadcast, the older episodes of the sitcom were displayed in 4:3 format that fit TVs in the pre-HD era. Now, though, Disney+ is showing episodes in widescreen 16:9, resulting in a cropped picture that leaves out some imagery.
For example, one of the series’ episodes features a joke about the Duff brewery selling three types of beer that are all just the same alcohol. With a 4:3 aspect ratio, the viewer can see one large Duff tube funnelling the beer into three distinctly-labelled pipes. In 16:9, the big tube is cut off, so the gag would be missed entirely.
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
This is just one example that was pointed out on social media, but there are surely many more that could be mentioned, given the series’ decades-long history.
When asked if a 4:3 ratio option will be added in the future, Disney declined to comment, according to The Verge.
It’s currently unclear if this aspect ratio issue affects any other shows or movies on Disney+.
Image credit: Disney