Why People Are Ticked About The Simpsons On Disney+

Why People Are Ticked About The Simpsons On Disney+


The sound you just heard was the entire Disney+
launch team smacking themselves in the heads while projecting a collective “Doh!” into
the stratosphere. “Doh!” You’ve probably already heard that the hotly
anticipated streaming service made its debut, bringing with it all manner of titles from
the Disney vault, not to mention a slew of properties of the Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar
persuasion. We’re pretty sure you’ve also heard that launch
day for Disney+ was far from perfect, with many early subscribers unable to even log
on to the service. Those that were finally able to log on, and
had a hankering for some early episodes of The Simpsons, were met with their own set
of issues when they found that those episodes of the beloved animated series appeared to
be missing something: significant portions of the picture. The problem, it seems, stemmed from Disney’s
decision to screen all content on Disney+ in the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. On the surface, that seems like a sound choice
by the House of Mouse, as the widescreen ratio is by far the most popular for home viewing;
computer monitors and flatscreen televisions display images rendered in this aspect ratio
natively, and it’s standard for HDTV broadcasts and digital media. The problem lies in the fact that The Simpsons
has been on the air since before the format was in wide use; before, in fact, consumer
flatscreen televisions even existed, and that earlier episodes were aired in the then-standard
4:3 aspect ratio. Episodes of the series weren’t produced in
the 16:9 format until its twentieth season, and when the 4:3 aspect ratio is cropped for
the newer format, a large portion of the picture is lost. So, much to the dismay of the show’s fiercely
loyal and often fanatically astute fan base, the first 19 seasons of The Simpsons are indeed
only partially streaming on Disney+. “Okay, don’t panic. Marge, stop panicking!” Now, for some shows that would not be a significant
problem. But as any Simpsons fan would be quick to
tell you, part of what’s made the show so special is that some of its best jokes are
not front and center. Rather, the creative teams behind The Simpsons
have long reveled in the chance to hide sly in-jokes and savage social jabs in virtually
every corner of the frame. That’s obviously a big part of what has made
The Simpsons one of the more endlessly re-watchable shows in the history of television. It’s also exactly why fans were so excited
at the chance to revisit some of their favorite early moments of the iconic series on launch
day, but for now, at least, it seems that those brilliantly winking comedic morsels
have been unceremoniously nixed, as Disney made the questionable decision not to adjust
the aspect ratio for Homer and the rest of the Simpson family’s game-changing early episodes. “Rest assured that I was on the internet within
minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.” The decision to go ahead and screen the cropped
versions of those early episodes is even more surprising because it seems like there’s no
way that the Mouse House wouldn’t have known this would be an issue. After all, extended cable outlet FXX, now
also owned by The Walt Disney Company, did the exact same thing when it began airing
episodes of The Simpsons back in 2014, and it also experienced the same sort of backlash
from the series’ eagle-eyed fandom. It seems like it’d be pretty simple for Disney+
to remedy the issue by offering earlier seasons in 4:3, or perhaps even giving viewers a choice
between the two aspect ratios, but so far, Disney hasn’t announced any plans to do anything
of the sort, and in fact, the entertainment megalith has been mum on the whole uproar. While we wait to see how Disney+ addresses
its launch day Simpsons crisis, it seems that most of the show’s fans are at least trying
to take the issue in stride, if only because they’re beyond excited to stream all 30 seasons
of the series. Still, there is a faction of fans already
threatening to cancel their Disney+ subscriptions if the problem is not addressed. For the time being, it seems they’ll just
have to make do with watching some of the series’ best episodes without getting all
of the in-joking goodness they’re used to. Maybe in the future we’ll all forget this
ever happened. “Smithers, use the amnesia ray.” “You mean the revolver, sir?” “Precisely. Be sure to wipe your own memory clear when
you’re finished.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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