AS ANYONE WHO’S seen “Ponyo” or “Up” or “The Red Balloon” or — heck — “How to Train Your Dragon” can attest, there is often a lot more inventiveness, liveliness and good nature in movies made ostensibly for children than in a whole multiplex’s worth of slam-bang grown-up fare.

Now, Kids World Cinema can prove this theory. The two-weekend showcase brings a slew of international children’s films to various sites — museums and embassies — across the Washington region, and throws in craft workshops related to the films at hand for good measure.

It’s not just about the movies, although there are gems to be found on-screen. The program was put together by 13 organizations internationally and seeks to interest local children in exploring other cultures, other languages and new forms of artistic expression. It’s aimed ages 4 through 12, but we’re bettting adults will get a kick out of the lineup of classic and contemporary films, and even may find that it’s not just little eyes that will be opened.

The festival runs through May 23 and is weekends only, so make reservations early in order to absorb as much of the world as possible.

» Free with reservations; see Alliance Francaise de Washington, or Goethe-Institut for schedule.

Photo courtesy Goethe-Institut