The Disney+ Rollout
Disney+ was finally available to stream today, bringing together your favorite Disney classics, Pixar films, Marvel movies, Star Wars sagas, and National Geographic all together in one place. The streaming service has a massive catalog for their users, as well as a relatively lax (for now) approach to password sharing and an option to pay for 3 years of use at a discounted rate.
Despite all of the marketing and work that went into the rollout, it wasn't without some glitches. Some people were unable to access the service when it was first launched, and Disney tweeted out a message of patience after high demand.
"The demand for #DisneyPlus has exceeded our highest expectations. We are so pleased you’re excited to watch all your favorites and are working quickly to resolve any current issues. We appreciate your patience."
A Disappointing Change
That frustration -- fans just wanted to watch The Mandalorian in peace! -- soured the experience for some, and that continued when they went to watch The Simpsons, which is also available on the service through the recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
Fans were initially thrilled to have the classic cartoon at their fingertips, that excitement was dampened when they realized that the episodes had been edited in a damaging way. College Humor's Tristan Cooper tweeted out a damning comparison.
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.
Cutting Out Visual Jokes
The Simpsons is known for packing jokes into every frame, so this decision to reconfigure the old 4:3 aspect ratio, cutting off roughly a third of the frame.
Light & Magic visual effects artist Todd Vaziri provided another visual example of why these changes have such a detrimental affect on the episodes, again using the sixteenth episode of season four, "Duffless." Vaziri tweeted "This is what it's supposed to look like. You know, a visual joke."
Not only that, but the cropping has left some of the frames stretched out, distorting the decisions that the animators made.
People Are NOT Happy
Fans expressed their frustration on Twitter, pointing out why this was a mistake on the part of Disney.
"Cropping to widescreen seems like, I don't know, the worst choice that shouldn't even have been thought of by anyone with experience in viewing film or television."
"Why is modern media so afraid of 4:3 aspect ratio on old shows? They are literally cutting off 1/3 of people's work! This is a crime, especially with animation! And it happens all the time despite everyone hating it!"
"Watching anything not on the original aspect ratio is incredibly dumb, and not offering it makes the service absolutely useless."
Now, it's only the first day of availability on Disney+, so hopefully they'll be able to work out the kinks as things progress. Classic episodes of The Simpsons deserve to be seen in all of their glory.