Actor pals Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson had to be separated as they worked on new animated film Free Birds because they spent too much time joking around during brainstorming sessions for the movie.

The two stars have lent their voices to the family film, about two turkeys who go back in time to prevent the birds from becoming the traditional Thanksgiving Day food, but Wilson admits their penchant for a good laugh prompted director Jimmy Hayward to split the pair up on set.

He tells the New York Daily News, "We made the argument we can bounce (ideas) off each other. There were two sessions and Jimmy Hayward didn't feel they were productive. Jimmy ended up separating us, and that was more efficient."

Harrelson adds, "We thought we were good. But Jimmy separated us as we were not getting enough done."