‘The Simpsons’ Original 4:3 Aspect Ratio Restored on Simpsons World App
FXX’s epic Simpsons marathon of all 522 episodes took a lengthy chunk out of all our lives, but fans soon noticed the landmark binge taking something else: whole sections of the screen to accommodate older 4:3 episodes into an “improved” widescreen format. Now, we old men need no longer yell at clouds, as The Simpsons will return to their original 4:3 glory on FXX’s Simpsons World app.
As revealed by executive producer Al Jean over Twitter, the first seven seasons of the long-running animated comedy have been made available on Simpsons World in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, with subsequent seasons to be added by FXX.
FXX’s original conversion of classic Simpsons episodes to fit the modern 16:9 frame had previously caused something of an uproar within the fandom, affecting composition and even muddying certain visual gags at the top or bottom of the original frame. Aspect ratio changes have become common complaints in updates and remasterings of classic TV series, as HBO’s The Wire recently underwent extensive retooling to preserve creator David Simon’s original compositions in a new format.
Similar complaints have been leveled at Pivot reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, some remastered shots even accidentally catching crew members at the edges of the frame. Joss Whedon was none-too-pleased.
Of course, you’ll still need a cable provider to access the Simpsons World app, but hooray for progress! Or … regression? Like Armin Tamzarian, let us never speak of this again.