In the movie, Tiger Lily is the beautiful daughter of the Native Chief and a good loyal friend of Peter Pan. Her friendship with Peter Pan leads Captain Hook to believe that Tiger Lily knows where Peter Pan's hideout is located.
With the assistance of Mr. Smee, Captain Hook kidnaps Tiger Lily and takes her to Skull Rock. The Indians believe that she was captured by the Lost Boys, and so do not come for her. Captain Hook places the bound Tiger Lily on a rock sticking out of the sea. He offers to set her free if she reveals the home of Peter Pan. He points out the rising tide, noting that Indian belief says that an Indian who dies by drowning cannot make it to the Happy Hunting Grounds. However, Tiger Lily knows better than to take the Captain at his word and refuses to talk even if it means that she cannot ascend to the hunting grounds. Losing his patience, Hook lifts her right up and screams right in her face that Tiger Lily has one more chance, blasting her braids back with the force of his yelling.
Unknown to any of them, Peter Pan and Wendy have spotted the trio. Peter Pan is able to spook Hook and Smee by mimicking a spirit. When Hook leaves to find the source of the voice, Peter Pan begins imitating Hook. In Hook's voice, Pan orders Smee to return Tiger Lily to her people. Smee complies but is then yelled at by the real Hook, who orders Smee to put Tiger Lily back where he had her. Pan and Hook go back and forth until Peter Pan is discovered by Hook. After a short battle, Hook is chased off by Tick-Tock the Crocodile. By this time, Tiger Lily has almost drowned beneath the rising tide. Peter Pan doesn't notice this until it is pointed out by Wendy. Peter Pan rescues Tiger Lily, and they, along with Wendy, return to the Indian Camp.
At the camp, Peter is named Chief Flying Eagle by the Chief as a reward for saving Tiger Lily's life. During the following celebration, Tiger Lily, as an additional reward for him saving her life, flirts with and even kisses him, causing Wendy to leave the camp in a jealous huff.
Though the Native Camp is featured in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep as a battleground for Aqua and Vanitas, the Chief and Tiger Lily don't make any appearances in the area. This may have been due to them being considered too offensive.
Peter Pan: Adventure in Neverland holds Tiger Lily's longest speaking time.
In the July 1995 issue of Disney Adventures magazine promoting the movie Pocahontas, there's a behind-the-scenes section of pages, one of which features a title card from pre-production that includes an early version of Pocahontas who looks a lot like this Tiger Lily, her arms folded, head held up high, eyes closed and is surrounded by a few forest animals (a poster matching this description can also be seen in the documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty). She seems to be the same one as in this Peter Pan movie but renamed. Therefore, had Pocahontas turned out differently, this implies that Tiger Lily could've been in consideration for filling in that role at one point early on.
Like Pocahontas, Tiger Lily is the daughter of a Chief. However, she is not an official Disney Princess, despite "princess" being her title. This is most likely because she was only a secondary character.
In real life, calling the daughter of a tribal chief a "princess" is now often considered derogatory, like the way Native Americans were seen in this film.
Although the totem can be seen, she never returned in the sequel Return to Never Land. This may have been due to controversy.