Evidently, this isn't solely an American tradition, for the main event of the Japanese animated film Steamboy features the demolition of 1880's London by Weapons of Mass Destruction. Steam powered Weapons of Mass Destruction.
It's made by the creative minds behind Akira, and it's beautifully realised. There's just one little problem. It's boring. Like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow the pretty pictures can't distract from the leaden screenplay. It's the tale of young Ray Steam of Manchester, England whose mad-scientist father and grandfather battle each other for the incredible power of the Steamball. Granddad wants to use the ball for Good, while dad (I don't know his name in Japanese, but in the English version, he's called Eddie. Or is it Oeddie?) sees a darker application.
But by the end of the film you don't care which side wins, just so long as one does, so the movie can end.