During a Disney showcase in Los Angeles this afternoon, a few fairly big announcements were made -- most notably the fact that Cars 2 is being bumped up from 2012 to the summer of 2011. John Lasseter also announced a series of animated shorts related to the Cars franchise called Cars Toons, and those will air on the Disney Channel, as well as (possibly) screen theatrically. With Toy Story 3 arriving in 2010, this means Pixar will shovel out back-to-back sequels for the first time ever. Those Pixar fans seeking an original product will get one next year with Up.

Also during the showcase, it was announced that Oprah Winfrey has joined the voice cast of The Princess and the Frog, where she'll play Eudora, the mother of the main character Princess Tiana (Anika Noni Rose). Due out on Christmas Day in 2009, The Princess and the Frog returns Disney to their classic 2D animation and it follows a young girl who lives in the New Orleans French Quarter during the Jazz Age. Princess and the Frog also marks the first time Disney has featured an African American princess.

We'll update this post should more info come out ...