As if the "The Dark Knight" needs any more cash in its coffers; reportedly, it's already taken in more than half-a-billion dollars worldwide. And now it's in stores, just in time for the holidays. I want a cut of that action.

Heath Ledger's stunning performance as the Joker and the superb stunts and visual effects carry the film and make it worth a second look. Every time Ledger's on screen as the psychotic, demonic criminal mastermind with the sardonic wit, director Christopher Nolan's dark and violent pastiche approaches nirvana.

Christian Bale is still strong as the repressed title character with the split personality (Bruce Wayne/Batman: Psych 101), but this remains Ledger's movie, with Batman secondary as a brooding crime fighter with woman troubles. The love of his life — as much as he's able to love — Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is dating the people's hero, District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), and it looks serious. Luckily, there's enough razzle-dazzle to distract from the melodrama.

The movie seems more episodic and feels too long on the small screen — like a compressed serial with multiple cliffhangers; on single disc, two discs and Blu-ray.

Extras: Vary by version, although none offers a tribute to or insights into Ledger; a look at the six action scenes shot in Imax; pieces on creating the Bat-suit and Bad-pod, the score, the city and the effects; more.

Hears a what?

No, a Who. Jim Carrey is much more fun voicing Horton, the happy elephant in the computer-animated "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who," than he was as the Grinch in the live-action "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The film's more entertaining, too. "Horton" is colorful, lively and sweet, and a fine pick for kids or adults drawn to this sort of whimsy.

The story follows Horton after he hears cries for help from a speck of dust — containing the town of Who-ville and its befuddled Mayor (Steve Carell letting it all out).

In that oh-so-Seussical way, Horton's neighbors thinks he's a nut case when he tells them about the minuscule town and its residents, prompting the lesson: "A person's a person no matter how small." On single disc, two discs and Blu-ray with digital copy, and as a two-DVD set with a Horton plush toy.

Extras: Cute new animated "Ice Age" short "Surviving Sid" and commentary on single disc and sets. Sets also have deleted footage, making-of shorts, more.

Step carefully

"Man on Wire," a delightful documentary in color and black and white, plays like a caper film as it tells the fascinating story of Philippe Petit, a French high-wire artist who, with a little help from his friends, walked on a wire between the towers of the then newly built World Trade Center in 1974. An art-house staple, the complex movie smoothly mixes vintage footage and interviews with new material, including an enthusiastic narration by Petit.

Extras: Interview with Petit; short on his 1973 crossing of the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia; animated short "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers."

Loving the 'Wolf'

This contemporary re-imagining of Prokofiev's "Peter & the Wolf" picked up an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at this year's ceremony, and boy, does it deserve it. A British-Polish collaboration, the mesmerizing film was shot with stop-frame model animation and digital technology.

Told with music only — watch the version that includes an introduction — it's the story of the frightened boy who lives in Russia with his grandfather and has a scruffy duck for a companion.

When the boy leaves the safety of his house — with the duck, a bird that uses a balloon to fly and Granddad's fat cat in pursuit — to visit the ice-covered pond outside, he and the animals are stalked by the wolf.

The characters have great faces, with expressions that change just enough to give them personality. I loved the film (shot on the largest animation set ever made). It's suspenseful, witty and, ultimately, poignant.

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