Irv Spence came over to MGM from Tex Avery's unit at Warner Bros. (I believe he was in Tex's unit at MGM very briefly too, but if you have theories of why he got switched to Bill and Joe's unit, please let me know!). He was well known for creating wild animation, and is responsible for many of the great eye-ball popping reations in Tom & Jerry shorts. He also loved handling Spike the bulldog, according to Mark Kausler. Spence is my personal favorite Tom & Jerry animator, and one of my favorites in general. Here he handles this scene with Tom being confronted by Mammy. It has a wonderful sense of looseness for a 1950s short.
Ed Barge began his work on the Tom & Jerry series in the mid-1940s. He draws them very conservatively (and dare I say, 'cutesy', particularly in his earliest owrk), and they tend to jerk from pose to pose, but still always establishing a good sense of characterization, similar to Friz Freleng's animators at Warners. Barge handles Jerry's first two attempts at getting Tom to fall asleep.
Ray Patterson and his brother Don had a long career in animation. I think Ray's best work is in the Tom & Jerry films, personally. Ray is able to handle lots of loose movement (though not as wildly as Spence would), and does a great thing with his characters where they purse their lips at random moments. See for yourself in this scene with the radio lullaby.
I'd publicly like to thank Mike Russo for helping me become familiar with these wonderful animators. He is a very intelligible fellow who puts my Tom & Jerry obsession (which is quite large on its own) to shame. He also requested Ray Patterson's scene of Jerry disguised as a cannibal (voiced by Paul Frees) confronting Tom from HIS MOUSE FRIDAY (1951). I'm more than happy to oblige, Mike!
I also appreciate those who have e-mailed me willing to help me out! Thanks, guys! Stay tuned tomorrow for part two of my Tom & Jerry tribute!