In the film, the tiger is first seen hiding in the bushes near the beach, where it sees the Robinsons for the first time. It decides to take its leave after seeing Mother being frightened by a monitor lizard, which also scurries away, and Fritz trying to shoot it with a wet musket.
The following day, the tiger finds Francis in the jungle away from the beach, trying to bring a baby elephant towards him so he could tie a rope around one of his legs and keep him as a pet. Seeing him, the tiger decides he would be a suitable meal for it, and after waiting for the right moment, it makes its appearance known to both the elephant and Francis.
Wanting to keep the elephant safe, Francis starts throwing sticks at the tiger, which only aggravates it, causing it to divert its attention to him. Suddenly, the Robinsons' dogs, Duke and Turk, emerge, followed by Mother who takes Francis with her and away from danger. Duke and Turk meanwhile chase after the tiger and engage in a battle against it. It tries to sink its claws into them, but they don't let it get close enough. Eventually deciding it has had enough, it takes off into the jungle. Though Duke and Turk try to chase after it again, Francis calls them back, claiming it has had enough.
Weeks (or months) later, after the Robinsons learn of the danger they would be in from Kuala and his pirates, they make various traps to defend themselves. Some are big pits that were dug into the ground and covered with palm leaves. One has some meat as bait to lure the tiger into it. One night, the tiger comes across it and falls in while trying to reach for the bait. Upon discovering it in there, Father, along with Fritz and Ernst stay to recover it while Francis runs off to tell Mother.
The following day, the pirates come to the island. Several of them fall into the pits, including the one with the tiger, but some manage to escape from it to avoid it. In the end, when Father makes logs roll down on them, one, along with one of the pirates, falls into the pit, which allows the tiger to leave while chasing after him. It isn't seen again for the rest of the film after this.
It is unknown if the tiger ate the pirate it was chasing near the end of the film or not.
Walt Disney wanted the tiger to be in the film to show that island had many threats to the Robinsons, a tiger being one of them. He also mentioned that he wanted Duke and Turk to make contact with and knock it off. Director Ken Annakin, who had worked with a lion in South Africa before, noted that working with a tiger would be difficult. In the scene where the tiger is chasing the pirate out of the pit, the pirate is played by the animal trainer, who had a wire tied to his ankle with the other end tied to a collar on the tiger.