UPDATE: 11/15/19: After a deluge of outraged tweets about The Simpsons only being available to stream in widescreen, Disney+ released a statement regarding the issue, promising to set things right for fans who want the old aspect ratio back.
"We presented The Simpsons in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons," a Disney+ spokesperson said in a statement to The A.V. Club. "Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. 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."
After Disney+ launched on Tuesday morning, the streaming service hit more than a few bumps. In addition to many users being unable to log into their accounts, once fans did they discovered another unfortunate reality: The Simpsons is only available to watch in widescreen.
The first 30 seasons of the long-running Fox series are all available to stream for Disney+ subscribers. However, The Simpsons didn't switch to the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and HD until Season 20. That means that only allowing subscribers to view the comedy in widescreen results in cropping out massive amounts of the show's animation in earlier seasons — which can result in the loss of visual jokes.
Fans were understandably upset at this, particularly because they've been through this before with FXX (which is owned by The Walt Disney Company). When FXX began airing marathons of The Simpsons in 2014, they also only aired the series in widescreen. Fans were as outraged then as they are now, and it's just a shame that Disney+ didn't learn from this previous incident and simply make The Simpsons available to stream as it was made to be seen.
Given all this, Disney+ should probably have braced themselves for tweets like this: "UHHHHH IM HEARING THE SIMPSONS ARE IN HD AND F---ING WIDESCREEN ON DISNEY+?????????? IGER, YOU DUMB MOTHER F---ER I WILL FIND YOU AND SLAP THE SH-- OUTTA YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
UPDATE:— Corey Atad (@CoreyAtad) November 12, 2019
Disney+ only has The Simpsons stretched/cropped to widescreen
shameful, @DisneyPlusHelp. canceling my subscription until this is fixed.
Old episodes of The Simpsons on Disney+ aren't in the original 4:3 aspect ratio so they're squished into widescreen and it looks bad I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news!!!— Matthew D'Ambrosio™️ 🦃 (@drmattdambrosio) November 12, 2019
When they cropped The Simpsons into widescreen, they kept shots of the TV in 4:3. They really should've just kept the entire thing in it's original aspect ratio. pic.twitter.com/N2w7IxL3l9— Tanooki Joe (@TanookiKuribo) June 4, 2019
In other news, Disney+ didn't censor Bart's penis in The Simpsons Movie.
BART SIMPSON'S WIENER IS UNCENSORED ON DISNEY+— Crimson Mayhem (@mayhem_crimson) November 12, 2019
BART SIMPSON'S PENIS IS UNCENSORED ON DISNEY+
I AM LITERALLY SHAKEN RIGHT NOW! pic.twitter.com/co1uJmaQNr
The Simpsons is available to stream on Disney+ now.