"The Cart Boy" is a ten-minute short film directed by Mike Clattenburg, and starring Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay and Mike Smith. It was shot before Trailer Park Boys was conceived, but it contains elements that were later used in the series.
Two mall security guards, Ricky (Wells) and Jason (Tremblay) run in with a man, called Darren (Smith), stealing shopping carts from the parking lot. They try to prevent him from doing this on several different occasions, and it comes down to a confrontation where Ricky punches him in the gut. After Jason finds a photo of a kitten that cart boy has dropped, he begins to wonder what his story is. They eventually find him again and follow him to his house, where they are invited in. The cart boy tells them how he was in an car accident and was almost left for dead, except that he had his kitten (called Bubbles) with him, who was thrown from the car, but came back to save his life (it's not clear how). In the process, the cat's paw was injured and disfigured, and Darren has been stealing the shopping carts and selling them in order to raise the money to have surgery done on the cat. Jason and Ricky feel like assholes when they hear this, and vow to look the other way when he needs to steal some more carts.
Many people refer to this as a back story to Bubbles and the boys, but others regard it as a separate entity. Here are some similarities and differences to help clear some of this argument up.
- Mike Smith's character is into kitties, steals shopping carts for the sake of kitties, and he looks and acts like Bubbles does in the series. But his name is credited as Darren, not Bubbles. In this short film, Bubbles is the name of the injured cat. Also, he appears to live in a nice house, not in a trailer park shed.
- Ricky is still named Ricky, but Tremblay's character is called Jason Peterson not Julian.
- In addition, both Tremblay's and Wells' characters have jobs. Ricky and Julian shy away from conventional employment.
- Also it is said Ricky and Julian have known Bubbles since he was a kid but in this they just meet him
There are enough differences to state that 'The Cart Boy' is separate from TPB, and should be considered non-canon material. If anything, it can be regarded as a character development sketch for the people that would later become Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, and an experiment in filming style, as the film is written, shot and edited much the same way as TPB ended up being in its formative years.