Skip to main content

Disney Plus will let you watch The Simpsons in the right format next year

(Image credit: Angela Papuga/Getty Images)

Our long national nightmare of older Simpsons episodes stretched out into the wrong aspect ratio may soon be over.

That's according to a Los Angeles Times report, which says that Disney plans to eventually offer Simpsons episodes in their original aspect ratio to Disney Plus subscribers. The downside? You may have to wait until 2020 to see The Simpsons in the show's proper format.

A little background is in order here. When Disney Plus arrived this week, one of the highlights in the new streaming service's vast catalog of programming was 30 seasons of Simpsons reruns. Fans of the long-running animated series rejoiced, right up until the moment they fired up some of those old episodes and discovered they were being shown in a 16:9 aspect ration instead of the 4:3 aspect the shows originally aired in back in the days before widescreen TVs.

(Image credit: Disney)

Forcing a 4:3 aspect ratio into a 16:9 window means you're zooming in on the show. And in the case of The Simpsons, that means cutting out a lot of the visual gags and background jokes that are peppered throughout those old episodes.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Disney Plus will give subscribers the option of choosing which format to view older episodes in — eventually. "Over time, Disney Plus will roll out new features and additional viewing options," a Disney spokesperson told the Times. "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."

So not exactly the kind of news that would make Homer shout with glee as if he discovered a box of untouched donuts, but definitely a step in the right direction.

Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.