Wallpaper Engine is one of the most popular utilities available via Steam. It’s a tool that lets you run animated or interactive desktop wallpapers, and download those made by the community from the Steam Workshop. I bought it at the weekend because I was bored.
One of the first community-made wallpapers I found? Shrek, the movie, in its entirety.
Available from the Steam Workshop, it’s titled ‘The entire Shrek movie but on Wallpaper Engine’. It’s rated five starts with 342 ratings, and it’s a 92MB download.
I’m watching it right now on my other monintor as I write this post. It works. It seems to be the whole movie, sound and all. It works with my Corsair keyboard’s iCue LED lights, so they change colour as the movie changes.
The downsides are that it’s low quality – 92MB isn’t much despite the modern advances of video compression, obviously. It also stops whenever I maximise a window over the top of it, and there are no controls for rewinding or fast forwarding. I remind you: it’s a desktop wallpaper. Wallpaper Engine is designed mainly for short, looping videos where controls aren’t necessary.
Its presence on the Steam Workshop is also obviously a breach of copyright. Not a recent one, either, given that the file has been available to download since December 19th, 2020. It’s not uncommon for mods to use other people’s intellectual property, but it is rare that they just straight up make a movie available in a perfectly watchable format.
For the avoidance of doubt: I find this very funny. It’s also a genuinely entertaining way to watch the film. I’m enjoying knowing that Shrek is back there, under my open windows, waiting to resume the next time I hit minimise after finishing a task.
I am now more curious than ever to learn what else lies among the over one million other wallpapers available on the Workshop, although so far it seems like 99.9999% of them are just pictures of anime girls.