Stop Cropping our Pokйmon sign now

We, the loyal fanbase of the Pokйmon anime series, deserve to see the show as it was originally intended regardless of whether it's on standard-definition TV, high-definition TV, or online in a streaming video. Starting with episode 589, "The Lonely Snover", Pokйmon is a 16:9 widescreen show produced in high-definition. Cartoon Network didn't actually start showing the show in either widescreen or in HD until five episodes later (episode 594, "Classroom Training"), and at that point, Cartoon Network did air the show in its original aspect ratio for all viewers. However, five more episodes after that (episode 599, "Pedal to the Mettle"), Cartoon Network apparently decided that it was OK to crop the show for standard-definition viewers to fit into a 4:3 frame, probably thinking we wouldn't notice.

We noticed.

You see, by cropping a 16:9 picture into a 4:3 frame, the sides of the picture are lost. This results in viewers watching the standard-definition feed to not see the show as it should be seen, forcing them to either get a high-definition setup or wait two days to watch it on Cartoon Network Video to see it as it should be. The fact that the picture is cropped is especially apparent when one watches the opening theme song, where part of the credits are cut off by the cropping process, showing the fact that the show indeed needs to be shown in a 16:9 aspect ratio in any and all cases.

Cropping might have been an acceptable practice five years ago, when fewer people knew about aspect ratios and the like and more people were afraid of letterboxing. However, times have changed. 16:9 is now a norm for television broadcasting. People are not afraid of letterboxing anymore, especially after widescreen DVDs became the norm for home video.

What makes things worse is that Cartoon Network actually shows other 16:9 programs on their standard-definition feed in their original aspect ratio with letterboxing. Such programming includes, but is not limited to, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Super Hero Squad Show, and even Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's, the show that comes on right after the premiere episodes of Pokйmon. The fact that Cartoon Network letterboxes some 16:9 programs for standard-definition viewers while cropping others is very disturbing indeed. This fact has to stop. The sooner the better.

Cartoon Network, we, the undersigned, urge you to reconsider your stance on how Pokйmon episodes are presented. Please, give us Pokйmon fans back our letterboxing. Stop cropping our Pokйmon.

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Jorge GillespieBy:
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