Fenwick's Christmas window leaves fans disappointed
7th November 2023

Fenwick’s Christmas window with a cardboard cut-out Narnia-theme leaves fans ‘disappointed’ as it’s compared to an ‘A-level art project’

  • Fenwick live streamed the unveiling of its festive window display in Newcastle 
  • READ MORE: The four Christmas decorating styles set to take over 

Fenwick has unveiled a festive Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe window display in an event streamed around the world – but fans have been left disappointed.

The front of the department store’s Newcastle branch has been decorated with different scenes featuring the much-loved C.S Lewis characters, including the moment when the White Witch is defeated, and Christmas is restored.

The intricate display is a celebration of family, community, and the joy of reading – but fans have been left underwhelmed by the cardboard cut-out decorations, with calls for the store to ‘return to the traditional windows’ with animatronics.

The number of people who tuned in to watch the unveiling remotely also plummeted, with just 20,000 viewers, compared to 228,000 in 2021.

Running across the eight windows of the Northumberland Street store front, the display depicts four curious children discovering the world of Narnia where the children meet Father Christmas. 

Fenwick Newcastle has unveiled a Narnia Christmas window display in an event streamed around the world – but fans have been left disappointed. Above, the children in Narnia in the display

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy step through the wardrobe and embark on a adventure with Aslan and Mr Tumnsu, where they navigate the land of eternal winter, which is spellbound by the White Witch.

Despite opting for a classic tale, fans were left disappointed with Fenwick’s execution.

Fenwick shared the livestream from the unveiling of their Christmas windows on their YouTube page, and many took to the comment section to share their thoughts on the display. 

One said: ‘I like the theme, and the real book illustrations are a nice touch, but the cardboard cut outs just don’t…cut it…

‘Fenwick’s, your shoppers want to see a return to traditional windows! We’re under no illusion that the cut outs are easy to store/dispose of…but please give us the animatronics back next year.’

A second added: ‘When I was a kid/teen, even into my 20’s the window used to be amazing with all the animatronics but these days – it’s like someone’s A-Level art project!’

A third agreed and said: ‘Love the theme but very disappointed by the cut-outs again. Much better than last year and although I fully appreciate the work that goes into these, they are nowhere near as fabulous as they were when I was young.’

A fourth said: ‘I’ve always been excited to see the Fenwick’s window however the cardboard cuts scream disappointment.’ 

Reaction: Social media users flocked to the comment section to share their thoughts and many were left disappointed

The festive window display also captures the moment that the White Witch is defeated and Christmas is restored

A young visitor peers into the window at the unveiling of the Fenwick display, which took place yesterday evening 

The display, which was unveiled in a live stream globally, shows the children’s adventures in Narnia 

They continued: ‘Whether it’s a sustainability factor or something else the cardboard cut-outs like last year’s disappointing window just look awful.

‘It was much better with an actual Christmas themed window and moving parts. Judging by the comments, Fenwicks you need to up your game next year. Scrap the cut-outs!’

Another added: ‘Wonderful like pages from the book. However, I do think this ever so slightly disappointing compared to other years. Probably won’t engage kids as much. 

Similarly, one wrote : ‘A wonderful book that could have inspired all sorts of ideas but cardboard cut outs were a bit disappointing.’

The second window artistically depicts Mr Tumnus and Lucy on a walk through the snowy wood

The display blends cardboard cut-outs with various other materials, such as the knitted table cloth above 

The infamous Turkish Delight is also depicted in the display, which enchanted Edmund in the book 

The display shares a recreation of the moment that the children meet Father Christmas in the novel

The first window scene shows the moment that the children come tumbling out of the wardrobe 

The display, which takes up eight windows across the Fenwick store in Newcastle, shows the White Witch 

Mia Fenwick, Chief Marketing Officer at Fenwick said: ‘Our Christmas windows are a celebration of the importance of storytelling.

‘We are thrilled to celebrate the joy of reading once again, by bringing the classic Chronicles of Narnia to Newcastle and to viewers tuning in from our global Fenwick community.’

She added: ‘The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series, imagined by C.S. Lewis, brings together readers of all ages, inviting them into an enchanted land filled with mesmerising characters who teach us all about courage, kindness, family, and the thrill of adventure.’

The window display takes visitors on a eventful journey of twists and turns within the fantasy novel, including Edmund’s capture by the White Witch and the sibling’s quest to liberate their brother.

On their mission, they meet Father Christmas who gives them each a gift to help rescue Edmund.

The festive display concludes with a celebration as Aslan thaws the White Witch and Christmas is restored after 100 years.

The windows can be viewed from 6 November through to early January 2024. 

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