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How to watch The Simpsons in the original format on Disney Plus

Disney has lived up to its word and restored the early seasons of The Simpsons to their original 4:3 aspect ratio.

As of today the viewer can abandon the remastered aspect ratio setting that has seen the first 19 seasons played in widescreen 16:9 format, much to the chagrin of longtime fans of the show.

The change in format has stretched the animation and, in some cases, even cut the legs from under some of the show’s iconic gags.

However, from today it’s possible to switch back to the original format with a simple toggle switch (pictured) on The Simpsons’ Disney Plus page. Here’s how to do it:

  • Simply open The Simpsons main page within your Disney Plus app
  • Scroll across to the Details tab
  • At the top you’ll see a toggle switch that says “Remastered aspect ratio”.
  • Simply toggle this to off to begin seeing the episodes as they were intended to be viewed.

Of course, later episodes are only available in 16:9 format, because that’s how they were created following the advent of wider screen televisions.

The chance to watch the classic episodes in their original format will be a huge boost to long-time fans of the series who’d complained the stretched aspect ratio had ruined the viewing experience. Thankfully the classic Duff Beer brewery tour joke, among others, can now be enjoyed in all its glory too.

If you wondered why it took so long to achieve this, Disney has posted a long explanation on its Medium blog page today. Essentially, it was all about ensuring all of the other Disney Plus features would remain compatible with those episodes once the switch had taken place. As Disney explains, that was quite the task.

Related: How to get Disney Plus on a Smart TV


Disney has the rights to The Simpsons after a deal that saw it acquire content made by Fox. The longest-running sitcom ever has been a welcome addition to the service that also boasts everything offered by the Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars stables, as well content from National Geographic.

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By opting for an annual membership, you can save 15% as opposed to paying the monthly rate for Disney Plus. For classics like The Simpsons and Recess, alongside modern staples like Frozen 2 and The Mandalorian, it's an absolute bargain.

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