Disney+ to stream The Simpsons in original 4:3 format starting May 28
The Simpsons fans can let loose a hearty "woo-hoo!" — Disney is finally making good on its promise to have the series available in its original format.
Simpsons showrunner Al Jean announced on Twitter that older episodes of the show — specifically, the first 19 seasons and part of season 20 — will be available on Disney+ in their original 4:3 aspect ratio starting May 28. Disney later confirmed the news in a separate tweet.
The Simpsons started airing in high-definition in 2009, making the switch from 4:3 to 16:9 widescreen in the middle of its 20th season. Since Disney+ launched in November, it has included every episode of the show only in 16:9. While a perfectly cromulent format, the aspect ratio cropped older episodes in a way that often eliminated sight gags from the frame.
Ironically, this problem also came up when The Simpsons was first made available for streaming through FX in 2014. In fact, Jean posted his tweet announcing the Disney+ change as a reply to an earlier tweet announcing that FX had made the same change.
Jean also announced that the Oscar-nominated Simpsons short The Longest Daycare will be available on Disney+ May 29. Daycare will join Playdate with Destiny, another short featuring Maggie Simpson, that was added to the streaming service in April.
The Simpsons recently wrapped up its 31st season on Fox. Disney+ currently features every episode through season 30; the latest season will presumably be added in the near future.