There’s a scene in Pixar’s Inside Out where Riley is determined to leave her parents and return to Minnesota. She gets out her laptop, goes to the web address for the fictitious company Transway Bus Lines, and books a ticket. The URL of the old-Safari-esque browser on the Chromebook-esque laptop is this:
It’s a lousy, and thereby realistic, URL. It lacks SSL and everything past the TLD contains unhelpful information. I was curious to see if this URL actually worked or not, so I went to transwaybuslines.com. The page doesn’t have any DNS records that it can resolve to, but a WHOIS lookup shows that Disney, the distributor for the movie, purchased the domain in 2014, one year before the film’s release.1
By owning this domain, Pixar and Disney ensured that they were in full control of the user experience of this fictitious brand. Very few people are going to pause the movie and capture this address bar — the laptop screen appears for a fleeting second — but the companies wanted all the bases covered.
This kind of attention to detail is so great.
- It’ll be interesting to see if the company renews this domain in 2019 when its 5-year purchase expires. ↩︎