The film was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, known for its family fare. Yet, since it contains adult themes that some felt were inappropriate for the studio's image, the Disney name appears nowhere on the film. Disney ultimately created the Touchstone Pictures brand in order to release more adult fare.
This Walt Disney studios picture, a spoof of detective, film noir and mystery movies, followed on the heels of Disney's Condorman (1981), a spoof of super-hero movies, released a couple of years earlier.
The message on the postcard on the film's main movie poster read: "Having a wonderful time! Already met a real murderer,a possible double agent, a canary, a couple of crooked flatfeet, and a great looking guy who may be trying to kill me - How are things at the office?".
Actor David Suchet, famous for playing the detective Hercule Poirot on television in Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989), played Inspector Stagnos. This was Suchet's first ever big screen role as a detective.
The film's "Trenchocat" title refers to the overcoat frequently associated with detective, mystery and film noir films, frequently worn in 1940s era movies by a gumshoe such as those played by Humphrey Bogart.
The movie's central character was a female budding mystery writer Mickey Raymond (Margot Kidder). The movie was released about a year before another picture about a woman writer, that being Romancing the Stone (1984), where Kathleen Turner played a romance novelist.
This Walt Disney studios picture, a spoof of detective, film noir and mystery movies, followed on the heels of Disney's Condorman (1981) , a spoof of super-hero movies, released a couple of years earlier.