|SOUTH PARKSOUTH PAREPISODESTHE SHOW|
Keeping true to its word, Disney+ has updated The Simpsons fans on how soon to expect episodes of the classic animated series be made available in its original aspect ratio. The fledgling streaming service had promised a fix by 2020, and according to a latest tweet, fans should be good to go by the end of May.
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.
— Disney+ @disneyplus April 2, 2020When Disney+ launched in November, Simpsons fans were quick to notice that older episodes looked noticeably off. Like most television series before the advent of flatscreen TVs, the show originally aired in a 4:3 ratio. To avoid showing black bars on each side of the picture, Disney+ used versions of the show that were cropped into 16:9 format, which cut off visual gags and led to characters looking stretched and distorted in certain scenes as shown below:
Not only are the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ awkwardly cropped, but they're stretched in a lot of places too. Bart's head looks 4 inches wider here: pic.twitter.com/fCpmTPasGj
— Tristan Cooper @TristanACooper November 12, 2019In Disney+’s defense, the cropping issue also occurred when FXX started airing The Simpsons marathons, and it’s believed the streaming service simply imported those versions after acquiring Fox. However, Disney was quick to respond to fan reactions, and within days of launch, it promised to offer viewers a choice of aspect ratios in a statement to The LA Times:
“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.”
While May pushes the limit of “early 2020,” it’s understandable that Disney has had its hands full, as the pandemic has forced the company to scuttle release dates for major blockbusters like Black Widow and Mulan while halting production on a variety of upcoming projects headed for theaters and Disney+.
Via Disney+ on Twitter
Editor's note: The list is constantly updated. Dates refer to when announcements were made, or when an event is scheduled to happen.
You’ve probably seen our other COVID-19 list, the one where we are examining every cancellation that has taken place as the pandemic takes hold in our community. This is the counterpoint to that “Houston, we have a problem” list; this is the one where we’ll talk about how the show must go on, how the Force will be with us, and, maybe most importantly, how we’ll be back.
IndieWire will continue to update this page with the latest breaking news regarding virtual events, work logistics, TV premieres, and general acts of bravery and kindness. This is the place where we’ll be documenting our return to normalcy — and make no mistake, we’ll get through this. The most recent updates will be posted at the top of the running list below.April 2
–Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the National Theatre are making the theater version of “Fleabag” available to stream, with proceeds going to COVID-19 support charities in the U.K. Soho Theatre’s On Demand streaming site will have it on April 6 for $5; Amazon Prime Video will have it for U.S. audiences on April 10.
–Premiering on Acorn TV: “Deadwater Fell”
–Premiering on Bravo: “Camp Getaway”
–Premiering on Netflix: “The Big Show Show”
–Premiering on PBS: “Broken Places”
–Premiering on ABC: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Secrets & Surprises”April 2
-Focus Features is launching “Movie Mondays,” free Facebook livestreams of classic films. The current schedule will feature “Gosford Park,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Mallrats,” and “My Summer of Love.”
–IFC Center in Manhattan, like other theaters, may be closed, but it’s moving forward with an online version of its signature short film programming with “Wish We Were Here: Shorts by IFC Center Staff.”
Documentaries, comedies, dramas, animated shorts, and experimental work from the ushers, cashiers, managers, and projectionists who staff the theater will be presented at ifccenter.com, with a different film available for free every few days.
It launched March 31 with Joe Stankus’ “Marquee,” a black-and-white visit with the now-retired longtime IFC Center usher Larry Alaimo as he changes the letters on the theater’s marquee and reminisces about his life at the cinema.
–Premiering on E: “Total Bellas”
–Premiering on Bravo: “The Real Housewives of New York City”
–Premiering on Freeform: “Siren”