Classic Simpsons episodes coming to Disney Plus in original 4:3 aspect ratio

Cowabunga! The visual jokes that were cropped out in widescreen will be visible again, and faces won't look so stretched.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
Disney Plus Simpsons

Watching The Simpsons in widescreen on Disney Plus crops out some visual gags, but that's about to change.


The Simpsons is about to get funnier. Kind of. Since the hit animated show's first 30 seasons became available on Disney Plus last fall, the episodes have been shown only in widescreen, which cuts out some visual gags that can't be seen in that format. But on Wednesday, longtime Simpsons writer and producer Al Jean tweeted that a change is coming to Springfield.

"The even more important most important tweet I can make!" Jean wrote. "As always you have been heard! The Simpsons episodes will be available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio on Disney Plus beginning May 28."

The official Disney Plus account confirmed Jean's news, adding a Homer-esque "WOO HOO!"

The widescreen version meant characters' faces looked unusually stretched out, and some jokes were lost entirely. Back in November, Tristan Cooper of Dorkly and CollegeHumor pointed out on Twitter that the widescreen format destroyed a season 4 joke where Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry beer are all shown coming from the same pipe.  

Disney Plus had been showing all episodes with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which The Simpsons didn't switch to until season 20, CNET sister site TV Guide reported.