Despite Judy Blume's forty years of writing bestsellers for children and young adults, Tiger Eyes is the first theater-release motion picture to be made out of any of her books. (There have been television productions made of Forever, the "Fudge" books, and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great.)
Tatanka Means, who plays Martin Ortiz (Wolf), is the son of Russell Means, the actor and American Indian Movement activist who plays Martin's father, Willie Ortiz. Russell Means died of esophageal cancer in 2012, after filming on this movie was completed but before the finished film was released. His character in Tiger Eyes also has cancer.