In addition to hundreds of missing titles and dozens of series with episodes out-of-order, another issue has plagued streaming service Disney Plus: certain titles uploaded in the wrong aspect ratio.

Film and TV fans are unwavering in their stated preference: upload every title in its original aspect ratio, so the image appears as the director intended. For most TV programs aired prior to the 21st century, that means uploading the video content in 4:3 aspect ratio.

Disney Streaming Services, the tech wizards behind Disney Plus, spent significant resources on correcting an aspect ratio issue for The Simpsons. They granted rare interviews and published an extensive blog post about their months-long process of uploading early seasons of The Simpsons in two aspect ratios: both 4:3 and a cropped version. (The reasons for spending time and effort to include the cropped version are unknown.)


Ensuring original aspect ratio is a fundamental quality-check issue, yet Disney+ has neglected to follow best practices for certain past titles. Thanks to research and eagle-eye work from blogger Drew Ryan and Disney fan Kaz Packman, here are eight Disney+ titles currently uploaded in the wrong aspect ratio.


TV Series

Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers (1989-1990)

Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers reimagines the fun-loving chipmunks as leaders of a team of pint-sized crime-fighters with Gadget Hackwrench, Monterey Jack, and Zipper rounding out their crew. Disney+ will soon release an updated animated version, and a CG-animated film with live-action elements is in the works. To fans’ dismay, the original 65 episodes currently on Disney+ have been cropped from their produced 4:3 aspect ratio.



The Little Mermaid: The Animated Series (1992-1994)

A spinoff from the original animated classic, this series features the adventures of Ariel as a mermaid prior to the events of the film. Many of the voice actors from the film reprise their roles, notably Jodi Benson as Ariel. Unfortunately, these 31 episodes currently on Disney+ have been cropped from their produced 4:3 aspect ratio.


Goof Troop (1992)

This animated sitcom reimagines pratfalling Goofy as a suburban dad raising his son Max. Considering it sparked two hit films, this series has a devoted cult following. Disappointingly, these 78 episodes currently on Disney+ have been cropped from their produced 4:3 aspect ratio.


Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! (2004-2006)

A 13-year-old boy joins forces with bionic monkeys to save the universe in this anime-influenced series. In a reversal of the standard issue, this series has been uploaded in 4:3 — but these 52 episodes were originally produced and aired in widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio).



Films 

Aladdin: The Return of Jafar (1994)

Banished to a genie lamp, former vizier-usurper Jafar is dug up by an ambitious simpleton crook in this direct-to-video sequel. Famously, this movie doesn’t feature Robin Williams as Genie and unfortunately sparked a wave of poorly produced sequels to Disney animated films. To add insult to injury, this film on Disney+ has been cropped from its original 4:3 aspect ratio.


Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)

Featuring Robin Williams returning to his role as the Genie, this threequel presents the drama that ensues around Aladdin and Jasmine’s wedding. This film on Disney+ has been cropped from its original 4:3 aspect ratio.


Halloweentown (1998)

Starring Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds (Singin’ in the Rain), this supernatural comedy on Disney+ has been cropped from its original 4:3 aspect ratio.


Horse Sense (1999)

Two cousins (brothers Joey and Andrew Lawrence) must work together when their ranch is threatened. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 4:3 aspect ratio.


Smart House (1999)

A fully-automated dream house goes out of control in this dramedy, which on Disney+ has been cropped from its original 4:3 aspect ratio.



Quints (2000)

A 14-year-old teenager goes to desperate lengths to get attention when her mother gives birth to quints. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.


The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)

A girl steals a weather machine from Santa Claus, to make a snow day. The machine breaks, and causes an out-of-control snowstorm. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.


Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire (2000)

Two children set their mother up with a mysterious man. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.


Motocrossed (2001)

This sports film is about a girl named Andrea Carson who loves motocross, despite the fact that her father finds her unsuited for it. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.



Hounded (2001)

Jay Martin is a 13-year-old who is competing for a scholarship with the headmaster’s son, rival classmate Ronny Van Dusen. But when the headmaster steals Jay’s speech, Jay concocts a way to break into the Van Dusens’ pool house to get it back. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.


Cadet Kelly (2002)

Kelly Collins, an artistic, fashion-minded teen is forced to go from flashy fab to olive drab at her new stepdad’s military academy in this comedy. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.


Gotta Kick it Up! (2002)

A school dance team get a new lease of life thanks to a teacher who lets them in on the secret of Latin rhythms for a big competition. On Disney+ it has been cropped from its original 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

This list will be updated as aspect ratio issues are corrected. Thanks again to blogger Drew Ryan and Disney fan Kaz Packman for compiling the essential info.


Have you noticed other Disney+ films or series uploaded in the wrong aspect ratio? Comment below and join the dialogue.








Josh Shepherd

Freelance journalist Josh M. Shepherd writes about culture, faith, and public policy issues. His work has been published by outlets including What’s On Netflix, The Federalist, Family Theater Productions, and Faithfully Magazine. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Josh and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.

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17 Comments

  1. Kaz February 13, 2021

    Actually, the 16:9 version of Halloweentown II is only partially cropped (mainly during the flashback sequences from the first film), the majority of it is true protected 16:9. Though I did notice that several 1999-2003 DCOMs were cropped to 4:3 on Disney+ even though they were true 16:9 on Disney Channel On Demand HD (e.g. Quints, Motocrossed, Hounded, The Cheetah Girls, Gotta Kick it Up, and The Ultimate Christmas Present).

    1. DrewsClues February 14, 2021

      Oh god, this is never gonna get fixed at this rate. Thanks for the info!! I'm not tearing my hair out or anything. The thing is for the films this should be abundantly easy to fix... it's the series which are probably doomed. "Too much work" probably. But the weird thing is also that the "proper" versions for most of those shows are .... online... on Prime Video AND on Google / iTunes... *head desk repeatedly* Really it seems like if they treated these as "new" adds in one month they could fix it all. We don't need a switch device like with Simpsons for these issues... they are much different from the simpsons which was a show produced in two separate ratios.

      1. Hannah March 1, 2021

        Ugh, right? I can't believe they went out of they went out of their way to add the 4:3 version of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, yet refused to fix all the cropped shows they added, bar The Simpsons. Honestly, how hard would it be to add the iTunes versions of Goof Troop and Rescue Rangers? The Simpsons has over 420 episodes pre-widescreen, so you'd think fixing a 78 episode show, a 65 episode show and a 31 episode show (174 episodes total) would be way easier.

  2. Hannah March 1, 2021

    Convinced Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves 4:3 versions are lost media. Even Amazon has them in widescreen.

  3. Samuel Attas March 17, 2021

    The X-files on Disney plus is shown in 16:9 aspect ratio. It needs to be shown in its original 4:3 so new viewers can experience the show as it was original intended by Chris Carter, and old fans can get the relive the 90’ties experience.

  4. Meet Makwana March 22, 2021

    Star wars episode 2 and Episode 3 are listed as 2.39:1 aspect ratio on Google but on Disney plus they're streamed as squarish 1.85:1 format which is adjustable to full screen for mobile phones... Although I love this 1.85:1 ratio as it isn't widespread and gives squarish view like imax

  5. Meet Makwana March 22, 2021

    Star wars episode 2 and Episode 3 are listed as 2.39:1(16:9) aspect ratio on Google but on Disney plus they're streamed as squarish 1.85:1(4:3) format which is adjustable to full screen for mobile phones... Although I love this 1.85:1(4:3) ratio as it isn't widespread and gives squarish view like imax

  6. Matthew March 31, 2021

    scrubs season 4

  7. Kyle April 4, 2021

    X-men (1992) the whole series seems to be zoomed in, but the little preview window when u go to skip ahead or back shows the full screen.

  8. garathnor April 5, 2021

    the shows actually arent cropped except in fullscreen, if you size your window to the correct aspect ratio all the image is there. some dumbo coded crappily and it keeps expanding with the window when it should stop

  9. Luis Francisco April 6, 2021

    Add Darkwing Duck and my beloved Gargoyles to this list.

    1. DrewviesMovies April 20, 2021

      Why? Darkwing Duck is in 4:3 - not zoomed in? Same for Gargoyles?

  10. asf q3tr awr April 7, 2021

    They just fixed a ton of the old cartoon series with improper aspect ratios

    1. DrewviesMovies April 20, 2021

      Why would you say that? Not one thing above was fixed. What other cartoons were fixed?

  11. Geoff April 18, 2021

    M*A*S*H has been added with the incorrect aspect ratio.

  12. Ads October 19, 2021

    Damien Omen 2 is pan and scanned for 16:9, however the film was theatrically shown in 2.35:1. The end credits are letterboxed. Some scenes don't frame very well for this ratio.