The Oscar buzz around new Irish animated film Wolfwalkers has grown louder after it picked up the Best Animated Feature Award at three of the top US Film Critics Circle Awards - New York, Boston and Los Angeles - over the weekend. 

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The film by Kilkenny's Cartoon Saloon is also nominated in the same category for the Chicago Film Critics Circle Awards which will be announced tonight.

The news comes after the animation picked up the Best Irish Film Award from the Dublin Film Critics Circle on Friday.

Wolfwalkers stars hear the call of the wild in Kilkenny

Wolfwalkers charted at No. 1 film at the Irish box office on its opening weekend earlier this month and was the first Irish film since Black 47 in 2018 to reach the coveted top spot. Variety has tipped it to win the Best Animated Film Oscar next year.

The film is the third animated feature from two-time Academy Award-nominee Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea) and Ross Stewart and is co-produced by Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions.

Cartoon Saloon were also Oscar nominated for The Breadwinner. 

Tommy Tiernan 'perfect' as the 'wild Irish man' in Wolfwalkers

Wolfwalkers follows Robyn Goodfellowe (English actress Honor Kneasfy), a young apprentice hunter who journeys to Ireland with her father in a time of superstition and magic to wipe out the last wolf pack.

While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, she befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh (Irish newcomer Eva Whittaker), a member of a mysterious tribe rumoured to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the "Wolfwalkers" and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

It had its world premiere at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year and also screened at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival to great critical acclaim.