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Disney Plus is fixing The Simpsons aspect ratio, rescuing countless jokes

When Disney announced The Simpsons would be part of its launch line-up for Disney Plus, millions of fans rejoiced. However, when the service launched, the elation abated somewhat.

Disney, for all its power in the entertainment world, was not streaming the episodes in the native 4:3 aspect ratio, and instead showing the episodes in 16:9. They were cropped and stretched to fit the widescreen format.

While that doesn’t sound like too much of a big deal, it meant many of the show’s subtle jokes were actually ruined. Including, famously, the tour of the Duff brewery where the original showed Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all emanating from the same pump.

You can see it, and the stretching issue, below:

Now, Disney has promised a fix for the issue before the summer, in a tweet posted on Thursday.

The entertainment giant wrote: “We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions on #DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May.”

Related: Disney Plus vs Netflix

Disney didn’t go into how it is managing to make the adjustment, but it sounds as simple as just enabling the 4:3 format within Disney Plus. There’s probably a little more to it than that though, given the timescale involved.

Disney Plus launched in Britain a little over a week ago and the timing couldn’t be better, considering the nationwide lockdown as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The affordable, £5.99 a month streaming service finally gives Brits access to The Mandalorian and the new season of The Clone Wars, as well as an unrivalled content library from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Fox and 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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