India, July 12 -- The much-anticipated new version of animated movie classic The Lion King landed with a whimper rather than a roar on Thursday with critics hailing it as visually impressive but tame in terms of character and storytelling. The Lion King, Walt Disney Co's latest remake of its own beloved animated films, directed by Jon Favreau, shows off advanced techniques that blend virtual reality, live action and digital imagery to bring a hyper-real feel to the animals and African settings.

But early reviews said the overall result was a letdown, although most critics conceded the movie will perform well at the box office where some analysts are predicting an opening weekend of around $150 million when it arrives in North American th...