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How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

All it takes is a little toggle switch

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How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

Earlier seasons of The Simpsons are finally available to stream in its proper 4:3 aspect ratio, a task Disney Plus’ product team had to spend some time figuring out.

Aspect ratios are a big deal in The Simpsons. Fox originally aired the show in 1989, and at the time used a 4:3 aspect ratio. The show, as any fan will explain, relies heavily on visual gags — an aspect of joke-telling that wouldn’t become an issue until near the end of 2009, about a third of the way through The Simpsons’ 20th season — when the show’s aspect ratio switched from 4:3 to 16:9. When Disney uploaded all 30 seasons of the show to Disney Plus in November 2019, every episode was only available in 16:9, meaning older episodes looked stretched out, and jokes that relied on visual framing were effectively cut out.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

The Disney Plus product team knew they had to fix it, but it wasn’t as simple as adding old files. Disney Plus subscribers now just have to switch a toggle on The Simpsons’ description page when they open the app. Essentially, the Disney Streaming Services product team had to rethink how content was packaged for streaming purposes, one that Joe Rice, vice president of media product, called a “fundamental change” in a new blog post.

Prior to Disney’s team packaging both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios in one content package (a group of audiovisual components including video, audio languages, formats, and subtitles), the believed assumption was only “a single version of video would be present in any given package,” Rice wrote.

The team created multiple “facets,” which essentially created flexible combinations of audio, video, and subtitle components. As part of the fix, it doesn’t matter what chosen aspect ratio people use to watch The Simpsons, but basic features like “Continue Watching” or autoplay will continue to work. This was paramount to the team, Rice explained. Those existing features were crucial to the Disney Plus streaming experience, with Rice adding that new “4:3 versions couldn’t be treated as standalone bonus content.”

Here’s a fun side-by-side to show the difference in how streams are now bundled. They’re packaged together, so once people toggle to select the aspect ratio they want, the version is pulled from the same package and everything reacts seamlessly.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

A single piece of media packaged, pulling in one video

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

Multiple videos being pulled in for people to choose from seamlessly.

“To support both the original 4:3 aspect ratio and the 16:9 versions of The Simpsons, we needed to challenge prior assumptions and rethink how content for streaming is packaged and delivered,” said Rice. “We introduced a new Disney+ app feature today that not only gives fans a choice in video viewing formats, but also opens up a number of exciting opportunities for novel ways of presenting content in the future.”

Disney+ has finally launched in the UK, but fans of The Simpsons are still struggling with one element of the show on the streaming service.

As subscribers to the streaming service in the US, Canada and Australia found out after its launch last November, while the first 30 seasons of the animated classic are included on the platform, the first 20 have been stretched out into the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning a whole universe of visual gags on the outskirts of the shot are being cropped out.

This is because The Simpsons only adopted the widescreen format during season 20, but surely Disney should’ve learned from the mistakes of FXX, which still airs episode marathons in a similarly frustrating way.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

Following the earlier disappointment voiced by Disney+ users last year, Disney released a statement saying it would make the episodes available in the original 4:3 aspect ratio in “early 2020”.

“Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options,” the company said back in November (via Variety) .

“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.”

In the statement, Disney also confirmed that the episodes were launched with the 16:9 ratio “in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons”.

Now that the service has launched in the UK, The Simpsons‘ loyal fans are finding that there’s still no 4:3 ratio option, and have taken to social media to also voice their displeasure.

@DisneyPlusUK @TheSimpsons @disneyplus Enjoying what I’m seeing so far but disappointed that the aspect ratio on the Simpsons hasn’t been fixed yet. That 16:9 is brutal on the older episodes.#DisneyPlusUK #DisneyPlus

@DisneyPlusUK Love #DisneyPlusUK so far but when will classic #TheSimpsons get shown in their proper 4:3 aspect ratio as promised?

Disney+ off to a good start by making classic Simpsons unwatchable by cropping to 16:9 instead of it’s original 4:3 aspect ratio. @DisneyPlusUK #DisneyPlusUK pic.twitter.com/IOJ7KpFT8E

“Enjoying what I’m seeing so far but disappointed that the aspect ratio on the Simpsons hasn’t been fixed yet. That 16:9 is brutal on the older episodes,” one user wrote.

“Love #DisneyPlusUK so far but when will classic #TheSimpsons get shown in their proper 4:3 aspect ratio as promised?” another asked.

Reactions from US viewers last year are below:

All the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ are in cropped widescreen format — this means you miss out on tons of great visual jokes, like how Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all come from the same tube. pic.twitter.com/cTy9adulFl

This is from season 1, Episode 1: The Simpsons roasting on an open campfire. The left photo is the DVD realase and the right is from Disney +#SimpsonsAspectRatio pic.twitter.com/PqQAAYLzf3

*clears throat* “ah yes, in episode 9F14 there is one tube pouring into three distinctly different vats of Duff beer, yet now I cannot see said singular tube, thus rendering the visual joke meaningless. Please explain it.”#SimpsonsAspectRatio pic.twitter.com/eVyw9IiNzN

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

— TopSpot123 is so very tired. (@TopSpot123) November 12, 2019

Time to watch my favorite Simpsons Ep. of all time & please, give us the option to use 4:3 Aspect Ratio. Looks ugly in Fullscreen/Widescreen. #TheSimpsons #DisneyPlus

Disney+ is now available in the US and the UK.

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A long-fought battle for Simpsons fans picks up again

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How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

All 30 seasons of The Simpsons are available for fans to stream on Disney+ starting today, but there’s one glaring problem: the aspect ratio is off.

Every episode of The Simpsons is currently streaming in a 16:9 ratio, meaning it looks stretched and shots are cropped to fit a widescreen format. There isn’t an option to change the aspect ratio, either. This ultimately means there’s a plethora of gags from the first 20 Simpsons seasons that don’t land because the cropping prevents the joke from being fulfilled.

The Simpsons originally aired on Fox in 1989, and it was broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The show relies heavily on visual gags — an aspect of joke-telling that wouldn’t become an issue until near the end of 2009, about a third of the way through The Simpsons’ 20th season — when the show’s aspect ratio switched from 4:3 to 16:9. This has long been an issue that Simpsons fans have contended with, some even making memes about the situation.

Things seemed likely to improve in 2015, though, when Fox’s FXX network announced that early Simpsons episodes would be available to stream in a 4:3 ratio on the Simpsons World app.

All the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ are in cropped widescreen format — this means you miss out on tons of great visual jokes, like how Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all come from the same tube. pic.twitter.com/cTy9adulFl

Fans and critics hailed FXX for giving subscribers more technological freedom. Many assumed the same setup would apply to Disney+ following the company’s announcement that all 30 seasons would live exclusively on Disney’s streaming service. That’s not the case. Twitter is full of complaints about Disney not offering an option to stream the episodes in 4:3, with some calling it a step down from FXX and Simpsons World. Even Simpsons writer Bill Oakley tweeted his disappointment with the setup.

Disney hasn’t suggested via social media if changes are coming to the platform to address subscribers’ concerns. Disney declined to comment on whether or not 4:3 aspect ratio viewing will be made available at a later date.

Update (November 12th, 2:50pm ET): Updated to include Disney’s decline to comment.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

Believe it or not, but there was a time when TV shows weren’t presented in a widescreen aspect ratio. As widescreen televisions began taking over, programs quickly began shifting over to the new format, but when it came time to air older programming which was intended for a 4:3 aspect ratio, some chose to crop and zoom those shows until they fit the screen. Sure, some may bitch and moan about the black bars, but I’ve always been a supporter of the original aspect ratio.

RELATED: The Mandalorian’s Werner Herzog praises show as “Cinema back at its best”

When Disney+ launched earlier this week, it brought with it hundreds of movies and TV shows, including The Simpsons, Matt Groening’s extremely long-running animated series which is in the midst of its 31st season. For the first 19 and a half seasons, The Simpsons was naturally produced and aired in the 4:3 aspect ratio, but when fans turned to stream the series on Disney+, they found that those seasons, which include more than 400 episodes, had been cropped in a 16:9 ratio, destroying many of the visual gags. Here’s an example:

All the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ are in cropped widescreen format — this means you miss out on tons of great visual jokes, like how Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry all come from the same tube. pic.twitter.com/cTy9adulFl

As you can imagine, this prompted a good deal of backlash, and to their credit, Disney was quick to respond and correct the issue.

We presented The Simpsons in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. 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.

Not sure if I buy the “consistency” line, but it’s nice to know that fans will once again be able to enjoy The Simpsons as intended. This isn’t the first time that the series has dealt with this issue, as those early seasons also underwent cropping when they aired on FXX several years ago.

Disney’s streaming service launches today so here’s what you need to know about how to watch it and every title on there now.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

November 19, 2019 2:05pm

Watch the trailer for the next Star Wars series.

Watch the trailer for the next Star Wars series.

The Lady and The Tramp reboot starred a pair of real doggos. Picture: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images Source:Getty Images

If you’re a Simpsons fan, a Star Wars fan, a nostalgia tragic or the parent of young(ish) kids, then today is the day you’ve been waiting for.

Disney’s gargantuan streaming service has finally launched in Australia this morning, and with it the enormous vault of content the House of Mouse can offer.

We’re one of the first six countries in the world to get it, and only a week behind the Americans. Your friends and family in the UK have to wait until next year, so make sure you really rub it in while you can.

So here’s what you need to know including how to get it, what it costs, the original series and movies at launch, some highlights, what’s coming and, at the bottom, the enormous list of every title the service has from today.

HOW YOU CAN WATCH

You can access DisneyPlus on desktop and through the Disney+ app which is now available on Apple devices (including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV), Android devices, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, select Sony, LG and Samsung smart TVs, PS4 and Xbox.

The user interface follows a familiar format, similar to Netflix and other streaming services, featuring horizontal carousels with recommendations, originals and categories such as “feel good sports movies” or “reimagined classics”.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

Twenty-nine seasons of The Simpsons will be on Disney+ in Australia (Photo by FOX via Getty Images) Source:Supplied

WHAT IT COSTS

A Disney+ subscription costs $8.99 a month or $89.99 for 12 months after a free seven-day trial.

One subscription gives you four simultaneous streams in 4K and Dolby Atmos on supported devices. You can be logged in on 10 devices at a time and it can be organised into seven different profiles for different members of your household.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

Given the fracturing of streaming, every new entrant into a crowded market knows the real game is exclusive original content. These include:

The Mandalorian: This Star Wars series is the biggest drawcard at launch with a spin-off series about a bounty hunter from Mandalore (the home of Boba and Jango Fett), played from behind a helmet by Game of Throner, Pedro Pascal.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

The Mandalorian is Disney+’s signature original Picture: Francois Duhamel/Lucasfilm Source:Supplied

Lady and The Tramp: A live-action reboot of the classic cartoon about the adventures and romance between a pampered pooch and a street dog, featuring the voices of Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux.

Encore: A feel-good reality series hosted by Kristen Bell, each episode follows a different group of people who as high-schoolers put on a musical production (such as Annie and Beauty and the Beast) who reunite as adults for a special encore performance.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum: This National Geographic docoseries is exactly what the title implies, a show following Jeff Goldblum being extremely Jeff Goldblum-y. The first episode follows Goldblum as he explores the world of sneaker fanatics.

High School Musical: The Series: How about this for meta – the show is set at a fictional high school where the student body puts on a stage production based on the Disney movies, High School Musical. Teen dramas ensue.

Forky Asks a Question: Over 10 two- and three-minute episodes, the existential Toy Story character will ponder the greatest questions in the universe, like “What is money?”. Even grown-ups can appreciate the stunning voice work of Tony Hale.

Noelle: Anna Kendrick in a Christmas movie. You know which side you’re going to fall on this.

Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He’s invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf. Read more.

You might have come across the term “aspect ratio” while shopping for a new computer monitor or looking up a film on IMDb. The term is used extensively throughout the video and photography world. At its core, aspect ratio is a simple mathematical concept.

Aspect Ratio in Video and Photography

Aspect ratio is the ratio of the width and the height of a four-sided shape like a TV screen or a photograph. Like any mathematical ratio, the aspect ratio of a rectangle doesn’t refer to its physical dimensions, but rather, how the width and length of an object relate to one another.

A perfect square would have an aspect ratio of 1:1 because the width of a square must equal its length. Aspect ratios can be expressed as whole numbers (like 3:2) or with decimal places (like 1.5:1).

Using the aspect ratio, you can work out the height of an object using its width (and vice versa). Probably the most commonly quoted aspect ratio is 16:9, which is often interpreted as “sixteen by nine,” where the first number relates to the width (16) and the second to the height (9).

In film production, the aspect ratio refers to the shape of the frame. Two of the most common aspect ratios that you’ll see in cinema are 1.85:1 (widescreen) and 2.39:1. This is why you will see black bars on the top and bottom of the frame when watching most movies.

Television has settled on 16:9 for most broadcast content, although displays exist in all sorts of aspect ratios. Ultrawide monitors favored by many gamers may come in an aspect ratio of 2.37:1 (commonly marketed as “21:9”), with so-called “32:9” ultrawide monitors now available from a few manufacturers.

Using an Aspect Ratio Calculator

If you want to fit a specific piece of content to a particular device—for example, a background wallpaper on a smartphone—an aspect ratio calculator like this one by Andrew Hedges can help.

Using this tool, you can calculate height or width based on an aspect ratio, or even work in reverse to work out the aspect ratio of a rectangle based on physical dimensions.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

So, for example, to work out the height based on the width and the aspect ratio, enter your aspect ratio into the W1 and H1 boxes, and then add the physical width into the W2 box. The calculator will display the relative height in the H2 field.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

You can work out what the aspect ratio of any given rectangle is by simply entering the physical dimensions into the W1 and H1 boxes. The ratio will be displayed above the “Example” image below.

Preserve Aspect Ratio at All Costs

When it comes to content like images and videos, deviating from the aspect ratio when resizing will result in an image looking stretched or squeezed. For best results, always preserve the aspect ratio you’re working with to avoid unsightly warping.

Disney famously made this mistake when it decided to stretch classic episodes of The Simpsons on Disney+ to conform with modern 16:9 displays. Fortunately, you can still watch The Simpsons in its original 4:3 aspect ratio with a tweak.

Updated July 1, 2021

It’s been more than a year since Disney+ first launched with an impressive roster of new and past TV shows, Disney theatrical films, and movies from the company’s massive library. In addition to the catalog of existing shows and movies, Disney+ has hit its stride when it comes to original series and films.

The latest Marvel TV series, Loki, joins our list of the best Disney+ original series and movies, alongside its fellow Marvel phenomenons WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, John Stamos sports dramedy Big Shot and Certified Fresh revival series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.

They land on the list alongside some of 2020’s biggest releases, including The Mandalorian, Taylor Swift documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, and the live-action Mulan remake.

The streamer boasts seven 100%-scoring original series and films and 44 Fresh titles overall. Check out the complete list of the best Disney+ 0riginal series and films below. And if you disagree with the scores, you know what to do: Let us know in the comments!

Recently Added: Series Loki and The Mysterious Benedict Society, films Wolfgang and Luca

Subscribing to Disney+? Bookmark this page to check in with scores for every Disney+ series and movie as they’re added and stay up to date with the best Disney+ series and movies available.

List Rules Vote up your favorite couch gag (or series of gags) from the opening of the long-running series.

The Simpsons is not only the most iconic show of modern television, but arguably the most important cartoon ever created. Seemingly everything has been referenced by, and in turn referenced, The Simpsons . The Fox animated sitcom is a mainstay that pretty much defined at least two entire generations and became a cultural institution over the decades.

Its influence is truly immeasurable. Without The Simpsons there would be no South Park , no Family Guy , and no Futurama . The entire television landscape would be unrecognizable. The Simpsons made the adult cartoon the staple of entertainment it is today. There have been over 550 episodes, more than 600 guest stars, and countless recurring characters , but just one famously consistent element on the show: the couch gag.

The couch gag actually began as nothing more than a clever way to fill time. If an episode ran long, then they’d create a short gag. If an episode was a bit short, they’d create a long gag to pad out the runtime. But over the years it became such a fixture of the show that the intro began morphing into it’s own separate art form. As it stands now, the couch gag is essentially a short film playing before every episode of The Simpsons .

Vote for your favorite couch gags, whether you love the quick jokes and visual gags of the early years or the longer, more conceptual gags by guest animators over recent seasons.

Larry Saperstein plays Big Red in the HSM spin-off.

Larry Saperstein, star of the Disney+ High School Musical spin-off, has come out as bisexual.

To mark the start of Pride month, Larry – who plays Big Red in the High School Musical series – shared the news with fans in a truly charming TikTok.

The video, soundtracked to The Backyardigans’ song ‘International Super Spy’, sees Larry reveal his own super spy credentials.

is it really that unexpected tho #pride

“Plays a character with a girlfriend on TV,” he writes, before adding: “Is bi [in real life].” Joking around with followers, Larry added in the caption: “is it really that unexpected tho #pride”

The 23-year-old actor plays Big Red in the snappily-titled High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the best friend of Ricky Bowen and the replacement school production manager.

How to watch classic “simpsons” in original 43 format on disney

Speaking of the HSM spin-off, series boss Tim Federle told Digital Spy last year that some of the original movie cast members could potentially appear in the Disney+ TV show.

“There’s a big fanbase of people who loved the originals and came to check our show and saw that we paid great homage to the original,” he explained.

“But I’ve also been somewhat surprised and heartened to discover that there’s a fanbase that truly comes to the show for Ricky and Gina and Nini, for these new characters and new songs.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2 airs new episodes every Friday on Disney+.